Work after mat leave...

I was told today that a colleague of mine has received a 12% pay rise and 5k stay bonus if they stay until I'm back. The two of us work very closely and I'm very happy for his pay rise as he's been unhappy about his pay for ages. The 12% now brings him up to my salary - yes it would be lovely to be granted a pay rise, especially as Ive continued throughout my pregnancy to work 45+ hour weeks and have excelled in my annual appraisal and have received a pay rise every single year ranging between 3-10% I get that I'm not getting one as I'm going on maternity leave so there's no incentive for them to try to keep me as I'm stuck there to get my mat pay. its pissed me off though, don't get me wrong, I've been promised this pay rise since august last year! 

Whats annoyed me is today in an off the cuff conversation about the dept my manager essentially said he's restructuring it down to a 4 person team (we're currently a 5). He then listed everyone else in the dept except me and the new direction he sees them heading in. Obviously pre judging my next question being along the lines of wtf he said "and of course when you're done playing mum we'll try and find something for you'. I'm 25, my whole career has been at this place, I've been there 7 years and worked my way up, and I feel like today I just lost everything because I'm pregnant. Everything is legal, there's nothing I can do but I'm heartbroken and don't feel like I can talk to anyone. The person I'm closest to at work is the guy that got the pay rise and I don't want him to feel guilty, he's done nothing wrong, I'm just pissed off at the company after all this time.

sorry, I just need a moan and a cry. and my iron levels are low so H has made me a plate of green veg for dinner so not even a nice meal to cheer me up :'( 


  • When you're done playing mum! Wtf! I'd be complaining about this comment, so inappropriate. Would he say that to a male?!

    I don't know the ins and outs of the legalities of this. Are you sure it's all legal? What a horrible position to be in. Sending hugs, wish I could do more.

  • "when you're done playing mum"! WTAF!!! I'm not surprised you're pissed off. Oh my goodness that's awful. Is it worth maybe phoning ACAS or Maternity Action ( for advice? I know you've said everything's legal but it might be worth double-checking and also just getting some advice on the best way to move forward? I'm sorry they're being such gits xxx

  • Um...I'm not sure it is legal! The cannot get rid of you because you are pregnant. As you are on maternity leave, if they are restructuring then you get priority of jobs. They have to find you a position. They cannot make you redundant.

    If you are on mat leave, you get a job. You are protected by law. You are entitled to one of those four jobs as you are on mat leave. Thats it.

    (my H was a union rep and just told me all this).

  • They're not gonna get rid of me unfortunately, they're just going to give me all the admin crap and step me back to the start of my career, only good thing is they can't change my pay so it would be stupid of them to only use me for admin but if that's what they want to do that's their choice. I'm just gutted.

  • I'm pretty sure they have to give you the SAME job if you return within a certain time period (sorry can't remember if it is 6 or 9 months) or a job with similar responsibilities/duties etc if you return after taking your full entitlement of leave.

  • I don't think they have to give you the same job exactly as when you left on mat leave, but I'm pretty damn sure they have to give you a job at least at the same level!!

  • A quick google brings this up:

    Also, I'm pretty sure it's not legal for them to give you no pay rise if you have performed well and other employees have received pay rises for similar work.  If you don't stick up for yourself they will take advantage of you!

  • And I've just found this:

    "I have not received an annual pay rise or bonus while I have been on maternity leave. What can I do?

    You should receive a pay rise in the same way as any other employee, though you may not receive the full benefit of it until you return from work.  You should be paid the same bonus as other employees for the period up to your maternity leave, for the two weeks compulsory maternity leave and for the period after you return.  Unless your contract states otherwise, generally you will not be entitled to a bonus for any period where the bonus is attributable to performance during the period of your maternity leave."


    i know this is for DURING mat leave, but to get no pay rise before mat leave is even more ridiculous.

  • I think you should get legal advice.

    They cannot single you out. It's discriminatory and you could open a grievance case. On maternity leave you are very protected so you need to look into this. You are entitled to one of those four jobs being on mat leave. They cannot just give you a crappy role, regardless of pay on your return if everyone else is just continuing in the same jobs.

    My employer has changed aspects of my job since I went on maternity leave and I feel that I am being sidelined.

    Less favourable treatment can include a wide range of behaviour, such as reducing an employee’s workload or refusing certain projects or clients. If your employer has made changes to your job that are to your detriment, for example, you are selected for redundancy, you may have a claim for sex discrimination, unfair dismissal and/or detrimental treatment.

    This from

  • Thanks girls. I'm gonna read those links today and see what it all says. My sister in law has a Hr degree but I couldn't get hold of her yesterday, going to deff pester her today now after what you told me. I honestly thought they just had to give you work and your salary but not necessarily in your career path or anything, I'm an accountant in a manufacturing company so I thought they could literally put me on the factory floor if they wanted!

  • Just to add that my understanding is they can only offer you an alternative job if you're previous role is redundant. Will it be? Or is it just that one of the 'four' will be doing it? If the latter you definitely have an argument on your hands, that's the same as an employer keeping maternity cover on and then demoting whoever was in the role previously, its not allowed! Good Luck xx

  • Everyone else has given you excellent advice about your rights so definitely don't let this drop. All I can add is that you clearly have super human self control not to have punched him there and then for his choice of phrasing - what a twunt! Good luck, hope you get it sorted!

  • I can't believe there are employers ignorant enough to trot out lines like that in this day and age. FFS. Has he put any of this in writing? Were there witnesses to what he said?

    Have you been told you're not getting a payrise? If the only reason they are not giving you a payrise is because you are going on maternity leave then it's sexual discrimination.

    How long are you going off for? The right of returning to your job differ slightly depending on whether you are on Ordinary ML (up to 6m) or AML (6m+). You can be made redundant whilst you're on ML, but they have to have an iron clad case for doing so.

    I got some GREAT advice from when I was on ML. Please get some advice on this.

  • You can be made redundant while pregnant and/or on maternity leave. However, you do have some protection. If everyone else has just got a payrise then they need to come up with a very good reason why you don't get one as well. And going on maternity leave is not a valid reason. I was awarded a pay increase just before I went on maternity leave.

  • I spoke to HR today, we're quite close as I do the payroll so we're in eachothers pockets workwise and we've gotten to know eachother personally and can always talk openly. I said I'd had a discussion with my manager that upset me but that I didnt tell him he had upset me (shes also quite close to my manager so a little awkward). Explained everything and she said the conversation she had had with him regarding the restructuring of the dept last week was not what I had been told so she wasn't sure what was going on. Unfortuantely all the restructuring is planned for the last quarter of the year and I wont be here so essentially I'll not know what I'm coming back to until I come back. It literally is a wait and see game unfortunately :(

    With regards to pay, our annual payrise is effective April 1st but we're always told in March what it will be, I'm the only one who hasn't been told... Doesn't technically mean there isn't one, but doesn't mean there is either so thats also awaiting game for the next 2 weeks.

  • They are on very dodgy grounds, you can't single out the person going on mat leave. You're more protected than anyone else!

    No they can't make you work on the factory floor. They can move you to a different department but you're still an accountant so that's what you have to do. I do think you should phone the helplines for advice.

  • When was everyone else told about payrises? I'd ask if it was several days ago, speak to HR if you're not confident enough to approach your manager about it - but I would be emailing him and asking directly. That way there's a paper trail too.

  • They have to offer you one of the positions in the restructure before anyone else, as far as I'm aware.  You have to be kept informed of all the changes in positions and anything being offered to people the same position as you has to be offered to you as well!

    And definitely email your manager about finding out about your pay rise if others have already known about theirs.

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