Return from Maternity Leave. Redundancy or Redeployment?

Hi, long time member and I never thought I'd be making one of these posts but here we are.

My wife is on maternity leave and was made redundant recently due to company restructure in light of covid - the payout is about $50K. Her original return to work date was in about two weeks and there has been a redeployment opportunity for her to consider but at a reduced salary. Her salary was $130K and the new offer role is $90K.

Here comes the dilemma, in a normal situation we would take the payout but she's actually pregnant again and is expecting next year. She doesn't want to look for a new job because she wouldn't qualify for mat leave at the new company and she also doesn't want to start a new role only to go on leave shortly after.

What should we do?

Poll Options

  • 12
    Take the redundancy
  • 111
    Take the redeployment
  • 3
    Take the redundancy and look for a new job


  • In this market, and in your situation, I would be Taki g the redeployment

    Do they know she is pregnant again?

  • Seems like a no brainer.

    $90k is still a very good salary.

    • +4 votes

      Not really if you used to be on $130k.

      However in this case I'd take the redeployment and look for a new job after maternity leave finishes to get back on the old salary.

    • LoL…a $40k reduction in salary is 'still very good'… So many broke people on this forum.

  • You've been busy during covid by the sounds of it. Congrats.

  • A few things to consider - will she earn 50K in the time before going on maternity leave again? Don't forget to take into account different taxation on a redundancy payment versus normal ordinary earnings. She probably won't qualify for paid parental leave work tests (10 out last 13 months). Child care costs for your other child (if any). Is it a good company with flexible arrangements that she would likely return to after a second maternity leave with two children? Any significant leave balances that may be diluted by moving to a lower salary?
    I'd be leaning towards taking the redundancy unless there are non financial measures to consider (mental health/return to work post second maternity leave/career path etc)

    • She will earn roughly 50K before going on mat leave but she will be getting the 12 weeks mat leave. She also has long service leave which will be reduced by moving to a lower salary but she can take that as part of her 2nd mat leave.

      The new role sounds fairly flexible which is a consideration for staying but it will also be a step back in her career.

  • I'm surprised they offered her redeployment, are they aware she's pregnant again?

  • Have you checked whether she would qualify for maternity leave again?
    With my wife’s employer one would need to come back to work for at least a year before they qualify again.

  • Hi,

    I found:
    Having another child
    Employees who have taken parental leave don't have to work for another 12 months before they can take another period of parental leave with that same employer."

    I'd suggest you chat with Fair Work on 13 13 94.

    • Thanks! She checked the company policy and what she read was that you only need to serve the 12 months once. She called Fair Work this week and they mentioned you don't need to inform your employer until 10 weeks before you're due to take mat leave. I'll get her to call again to confirm.

      • She will be showing way before the 10 week from due date mark, i'd be careful they dont make her redundant in between.
        Does redeployment mean still the same company in a different role, or moved to another department but still "employed" by her current one such as in government roles.
        Personally I would take the redundancy payment or extend the leave without pay until her due date? I think you can take up to two years off after your first child and move to part time up until the youngest starts school.
        She will probably not be working from home anymore and need to take leave for appointments regularly which may annoy the new manager.
        From experience some managers can be more supportive than others, and the expectation while learning the new role would have its own issues.
        $50k is more than she would get as part of the parental leave, and is the plan to return to work after she has the second? These are all things you need to have a good think about.
        All the best to your family.

  • Do whatever is best for you guys, don't worry about thing of taking on a role only to leave shortly after.

    • The industry I work in is relatively smallish from the point of view that people know people that know people. In that sense, I've been (unofficially) told by people to not hire some people because of aspects such as this. 'This' being not the baby, but joining and then leaving a short time later for whatever reason. I've had it done to me too and it impacts the business.

      Just highlighting that only OP will know their industry and how such an action will impact their future hire ability and bridge condition (ie. burnt or intact).

  • Congrats!
    For her role, is it an olive branch sort of thing where the company is keeping her along, or is there a push to hopefully have her stay. While I don't know the legalities of it, wouldn't want you to take it up just for this role to be redundant, and I don't know if you get paid at 1 pay per year of your current pay (at $90k) instead of the $130k

    • I had also thought the same, if she steps backwards and then is made redundant again, I imagine the payout would be less.
      Large organization?
      I’d be inclined to take a role and continue the journey there
      As others have said internal policy/stance on paid maternity leave would also be worth checking

  • Personally i would take the redundancy. Redeployment means you will get also cheapen all your annual leave, long service leave payout and severance pay. What stops the company from making a round of redundancy after 3 months in the new role? Then effectively you lose out even more if that happens. As you said, you are not stressed financially, so the more you and wife should enjoy the pregnancy and time with bub. You never know, maybe your wife may decide to stay out of work and be stay at home mum after the 2nd child.

    • That was pretty much my comment above, but good to know im not the only one thinking this way.

    • What stops the company from making a round of redundancy after 3 months in the new role

      Good point. Nothing at all stops them. Happens often.

    • Agree!

      Life is too short. No one ever says on their death bed they wished they worked more.

  • It depends on your financial situation, who will care for your existing kid, is she working full time or part-time, how much your wife likes her company/the new role and how easy her pregnancies are.

    Going back to work after having your first kid is VERY hard. Especially as I'm assuming they are potentially not even 1 year old yet. If you are working full time it is 500x harder than part-time. Also getting used to a new care arrangement in childcare can be a nightmare in itself…even if you have family looking after your kid there can be dramas. Then if your wife has a difficult pregnancy it will be extra hard. Plus the "covid overhead" on everything right now. You just need to think it all through. For 90k is the stress worth it? If you are paying for childcare, the financial return is also very small. All that being said, some women prefer to be at work than home so the mental value is highly beneficial.

    If it was me and we could afford it, I'd take the payout. If she has a good skill set it won't be an issue getting a job after the second kid is born and the economy has recovered.

    • I think this is the part that scares us as because we had pushed child care back to the end of the year. If she were to start again we would have to get him into childcare part time and have some days where she is WFH with him and I don't think that'll be fair on her or her employer. We could get the grandparents to come help but it would have to be a very temporary thing as they also have to look after my grandmother at times as she has dementia.

      It'll be very interesting once we have two kids and the drop offs to childcare. She is really good at her job in sales and we're hoping that by end of next year things will be back to normal.

  • Could be wrong, but if you're being redeployed on a lesser role, isnt there an obligation to payout the redundancy or part thereof?

    Otherwise, an employer could easily redeploy on a lower rate, and make that position redundant to mitigate redundancy costs. $130k to $90k is a 30% reduction… put that across a few employees and the drop in redundancy pay is significant.

    Might get a bite of two cherries.

    • Second this, there should be a partial redundancy for the redeployment should she accept it. Best to check with workplace what this partial redundancy would equate to.

    • Thanks she's trying to figure out what she's eligible for as it seems to vary from place to place.

  • On another note, if she does go down the redeployment path consider whether she can cash out some of her LSL before the pay reduction.

  • What a "SCAM"…. I bet the new job requires the same work and same hours.

    Bite the bullet, take the new job, check its contract, then in the mean time, look to jump ship and leave the unscrupulous company in the lurch.

  • Poll Option 4:

    <> Stop paid work and devote life to be a full time mother.

  • I think I would try to ask for a partial redundancy bc of the substantial pay decrease. I’m not sure if everywhere does this but it’s worth a try.
    I’d also ask if it’s possible to cash out the long service leave entitlements at current salary.

    Last year I was made redundant just as I was about to start my maternity leave and because of the way the payment is taxed, company’s policy and entitlements it was beneficial and I considered it a blessing but I know now is a different environment especially with a second on the way so close to the first. Finding a job with a second child and new way of life might be difficult depending on how things go.
    Ideally if she took a partia redundancy, was paid out LSL entitlements at current rate and then she decided to take that redeployment she could also plan to take 2 more years off. The second year extension is not certain as it would be up to business to accept but it’s possible and then by then she’d be able to come back flexibly for a period and/or leave for a different opportunity.
    Congratulations and good luck!

  • Congratulations, I’d vote to take the redundancy and stay home and raise the kids. You’ll never get those years again…. (but this does depend on your current and future financial situation)

    Some thoughts (having been through a restructure):

    Can your wife, if redeployed, negotiate 12 months of salary maintenance (12 months at $130k, before dropping to $90k)

    Ensure 90k role does not have probation period - ensure this in writing.

    If she takes the redundancy is there a transition role she can take (if she wants to continue to earn money until the bub arrives) - ensure it’s all in writing.

    Good Luck

  • Another option is look to do a side business. Take back control of the income, it's a much more fulfilling path as well…no job will give the same satisfaction.