Recruitment, discrimination, maternity leave

(12 Posts)
HulainHawaii Tue 29-Jan-13 23:39:43

Ok so this is long! Thanks in advance if you make it to the end!
I’m currently on maternity leave.

Last year, I was promoted to a more senior role on a rolling secondment basis (no end date to secondment). When I was offered the job, I told my boss that I was pregnant and this was accepted. I gave them the opportunity to withdraw the offer without prejudice.

I worked in the more senior post for a number of months and then went on maternity leave. There was never any question about the quality of work and in fact received regular (written) praise from management.

My mat leave cover then revealed that she was also pregnant.

They then decided to advertise the job permanently. I was told that they would welcome my application. The post was advertised widely in a number of national and industry publications. This was about 8 weeks in to my mat leave.

I applied for the post but in the end decided that the thought of going through an interview was too stressful whilst I was on maternity leave with very young baby. TBH I’d gone through a traumatic birth and was struggling to adjust to life as a mother.

I also felt that it was highly unlikely that i would be offered the job - due to being on mat leave and likely to be off for a number of months.

I’ve always thought that I was discriminated against but not sure exactly how to pursue. I’ve discussed briefly with my union and they’ve said that as my permanent role is protected that the rules have been followed.

I’ve now found out that the role has been offered to a middle aged man – definitely not going off on maternity leave anytime soon!

I had decided not to pursue any discrimination claims because I couldn’t face wasting/ ruining my mat leave. But now, I feel really strongly that I was discriminated against but not sure what to do!

Any advice?

Should I pursue discrimination over the recruitment process? Discrimination to woman on maternity leave?

Any advice gratefully received...

Letmeintroducemyself Tue 29-Jan-13 23:41:25

What discrimination?? I must be missing something.

chewingguminmyhair Tue 29-Jan-13 23:46:43

They welcomed your application but basically you decided not to bother going for it. What did they do wrong?

IfYouCanMoveItItsNotBroken Tue 29-Jan-13 23:53:25

I don't mean to sound harsh but the scenario you have given sounds like the opposite of discrimination. They encouraged you to apply but you didn't feel up to an interview. You felt that it was unlikely they would give you the job but your feelings are irrelevant. If you had been ill or having personal problems, for example, you may also have not felt fit to go through the interview process but simply because you are on maternity leave does not mean you were discriminated against. The fact that someone else who is not on maternity leave got the job is also irrelevant. He applied, the same as you, but saw through the interview process. I think it would preserve your reputation in the company to enjoy your mat leave and return to your old job without any mention of discrimination.

TheSecondComing Tue 29-Jan-13 23:53:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NatashaBee Wed 30-Jan-13 00:03:57

So they discriminated against you how, exactly? It sounds like they were very reasonable.

Jinsei Wed 30-Jan-13 00:13:48

In what way do you feel they discriminated against you? Because they decided to advertise the job permanently while you were on leave? Or just because they decided to advertise it instead of your secondment continuing indefinitely? Because they finally selected a male candidate who wouldn't need to take maternity leave? Either way, they encouraged you to apply, but you withdrew your application, so they went for the best candidate left in the process. Where is the discrimination in that? confused

prh47bridge Wed 30-Jan-13 01:07:24

I agree with other posters.

They offered you the job and you said no. They then advertised the job and encouraged you to apply but you withdrew your application thinking, with no evidence whatsoever, that you were unlikely to be offered the job. Given that they had offered you the job once already and encouraged you to apply I think there is a reasonable chance you would have been offered the job. Now they have appointed someone else. What did you think was going to happen?

You have not been discriminated in any way. If you had gone through with your application and had lost out because you were on maternity leave you would have had a case. But I'm afraid on the information you have posted you only have yourself to blame.

HulainHawaii Wed 30-Jan-13 10:28:05

I think I haven't explained the situation very clearly.

I was doing the (more senior) job before I went on maternity leave. There was never any discussion about the job going permanent or being advertised before I started mat leave. Long and lengthy discussions about what I would do in that role when I returned. However almost as soon as I was on maternity leave the role was advertised as a permanent one.

Yes, they said that they would welcome my application but it was strongly implied that it would be very hard for me to get the job because I would have a number of months (best part of a year) on mat leave before starting. I was asked (before interview stage) if I would consider revising my return to work date.

The organisation is well known for not liking to employ women. In fact the CEO had asked me to not tell anyone that I was pregnant – in fact I was well over 6 months pregnant before I went public.

Yes, I chose to not go ahead with the interview. Because I felt vulnerable because I was on maternity leave. and that it wasn't worth my effort to go through a process that I knew would end in someone else getting the role. The interview process would have been very lengthy with several interviews and assessment days. At 8 weeks post partum I was simply not up to taking part - I wouldn't have been able to perform to my best.

Maybe it’s a question of bad timing rather than discrimination and I should just suck it up.

The role you were doing before you went on ML, was on a "rolling secondment" basis. So you knew your permanent job was whatever you were doing before? Have I understood correctly? In which case you are entitled to return to a suitable alternative to that role. Unless there is anyway you could argue that the more senior role was actually "your job". From what you say, I doubt this would hold water.

I agree with other posters that they have not discriminated against you.

annh Wed 30-Jan-13 13:28:13

You may have felt that it was implied that you would not get the role, you may have felt that you would not perform at your best in the interview process and you may have felt that you would not be offered the job but the FACT remains that you ruled yourself out of the recruitment process and don't have any case for discrimination. IF you had interviewed and not been offered the role you might (depending on how the process went) have had a case.

TheSecondComing Wed 30-Jan-13 14:14:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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