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The Employment Appeals Tribunal has awarded €27,000 to a female employee who was offered an alternative role on a very reduced level of pay, when she was planning to return to work following maternity leave.

The employee was employed as a Marketing manager within a group of companies.  She went on maternity leave in November 2012. When she notified her manager of her plan to return to work, the manager replied in writing stating that the company was in financial difficulty, and he offered her a different role with a much reduced salary. The employee was then informed that one of the companies (a Northern Irish registered company) was being put into liquidation, and she was sent contact details for the liquidator.

The employee’s solicitor got in touch with the liquidator, only to be informed that no such liquidation had taken place.

The Tribunal stated that the company did not go into liquidation until July 2013, but attempted to terminate the employment of the individual 9 months earlier, so the claim for payment of salary for the intervening period was successful. (UD 723/2013)