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Mother awarded €12,000 in compensation following shift changes while on maternity leave

Laura O’Connor had worked for G4S Secure Solutions as a security guard since 2009, working from 9am to 5pm.  She went on maternity leave followed by annual leave in April 2012 and returned to her usual place of employment in February 2013, at which time she was informed by a colleague that he was now working in her position full time and to contact the company’s HR department.

Ms. O’Connor attended a meeting in head office the following week and was informed that her previous position had been filled by someone else and subsequently received a roster to work night shifts.  She was also informed that her position was not site specific.

Ms. O’Connor told G4S HR that she could not work night shifts as she had a young baby.  She was advised to cover the shifts and, as the situation had impacted on her health she had no alternative but to resign.

The Rights Commissioner judged that, although her employer had not breached her employment contract, the respondent had acted reasonably in tendering her resignation and awarded Ms. O’Connor €12,000.

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