It has come to the Union’s attention that St John of God are trying to force people returning from maternity leave into signing new employment contracts that convert a permanent full time member to permanent part time contracts instead of using temporary variations. It is important to remember that when you’re returning to work from maternity leave, your employer is required to ensure you return to the substantive position you had before taking maternity leave.

It is important to note that in these circumstances you cannot be forced to sign a new employment contract which would effectively alter your employment to permanent part-time. Return to work from maternity leave arrangements should always be expressed as temporary variations to your permanent employment contracts for the return to work period only.

On top of this, SJoG is also trying to forcibly change part time contract arrangements of the staff. To be clear, your employer cannot force you to change permanent part time arrangements on returning to work from maternity leave without your agreement, and they certainly cannot sack you if you don’t agree with their demands. Our agreement and the provisions of the Fair Work Act are very clear on this matter – changes can only be made with your agreement.

If you find yourself in this situation at St John of God, or any other health service, please contact the Union as soon as possible.

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