I have a hypothetical question on maternity leave, which I would appreciate advice on:

A female employee is currently on maternity leave. She applied for one of 5 vacant positions in an organisation, but was unsuccessful. All the successful candidates were recruited externally. She believes that she has the required experience and skills, especially since the organisation has invested a significant amount of time and money in her development in the required areas of these positions. She is going to ask for feedback on why she was not successful.

Not having any experience of this situation in practice, my initial questions are:

1. What should she do? I assume that the grievance procedure would be the correct approach initially.

2. Where does the onus lie in demonstrating that she was or was not the best candidate for the vacant position? I would assume that the organisation would have considered this issue and been confident that they were not creating a potential ET claim for sex doscrimination.

Any advice would be appreciated. Many thanks,

Neil Brown
Neil Brown