1 in 7 women made redundant after maternity leave. Plus, new guest blog from Maternity Action

(166 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 10-Mar-13 22:06:41

Hello.

Some of you may have seen this report in The Guardian of survey findings suggesting that one in seven women is made redundant after taking maternity leave.

The findings also suggest that 40% of the 1000 women polled found that, when they returned from maternity leave, their jobs had changed - with half reporting a cut in hours or demotion.

Does this surprise you? Or not? Maybe it's happened to you? Do share your thoughts...

*Update from MNHQ: We've now got a guest blog from Maternity Action over on the Bloggers Network. Do have a look, and let us know what you think about that, too.

Wishiwasanheiress Mon 11-Mar-13 08:39:38

Happened to me, requested flexible working. Refused. After a (fight) discussion on the detail it was approved. Only people who left were those with recent ml or flexible requests pending or approved. All late 20s mid 30 region

Wishiwasanheiress Mon 11-Mar-13 08:40:43

Sorry to clarify, made redundant 3mths following approval of request.

Bramshott Mon 11-Mar-13 08:42:37

I wasn't made redundant, I resigned, but as my job had been advertised before I told them whether I was coming back or not, it was a bit of a fait accompli really!

Second time round I was a freelancer and lost one of my biggest contracts while I was on maternity leave.

It's one of the biggest reasons I only have two children TBH.

Lynned Mon 11-Mar-13 08:43:06

my company was taken over, they never contacted me, and i just fell off their radar.

Wishiwasanheiress Mon 11-Mar-13 08:44:29

Also, to be fair so it's not just poor me so to speak, I was ordered to make 2 women redundant too before I finally went myself. One in ml, one recently announced. Pregnancy or ml offers zero protection to compromise agreements. Just no way to fight if u have service as u end up in such a bun fight and likely losing or only making the money being offered at tribunal. Extremely depressing. Relieved to go in end....

SnowyWellies Mon 11-Mar-13 08:50:06

I am about to leave my job, 18 months after returning from mat leave. Effectively, it is possibly constructive dismissal. I was part time (at my request) after returning, with the understanding that I would move back to full time in 6 months when the new financial year started. That never happened, with the boss claiming they could not afford me to be full time- despite hiring consultants for 13 months on 3 times my salary - who was doing a smiliar job to me. My workload increased and increased until I was effectively working full time PLUS over time, and whenever I requested a review of my tasks was told that the organisation 'had done enough favours for me already' by allowing me to be part time.

Finally after a great deal of stress I resigned. OIddly enough, my line manager as soon as I resigned said they could not do without me and could I continue to work for them, but on a self employed and ad hoc consultancy basis.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Mon 11-Mar-13 09:04:50

Yep I'm one of the statistics. Without going into specifics I was excluded and excluded to a point where it would have been impossible to return.

lynniep Mon 11-Mar-13 09:40:59

Yes it did happen to me. Although to be fair it happened to other employees as well at the same time. Also after speaking to the 'boss' about it - he didn't have a clue who I was or that I'd only recently returned from maternity leave, so I don't think the events were related.

samuelwhiskers Mon 11-Mar-13 09:54:38

I wasn't made redundant as such, but they made my life so difficult after I tried to negotiate different hours, that I decided to resign sad This was despite the fact that before my pregnancy they would bend over backwards to change hours to suit my commute and to suit them. Their attitude changed drastically during my pregnancy.

plantsitter Mon 11-Mar-13 10:03:23

I wasn't made redundant. However in retrospect I was pretty much pushed out of my job one way or another, with my maternity cover waiting in the wings to replace me.

WhyIRayLiotta Mon 11-Mar-13 10:27:27

I have been back at work less than 6 months. I recently applied for a job - which prior to my Maternity leave I did for over a year - I didnt even get an interview. I feel like I am stuck in my current role - with little or no chance of progression as I am a parent / at risk of needing more maternity leave.

If redundancy was an option I would possibly cut my losses and take it.

SnowyWellies Mon 11-Mar-13 10:30:40

Yes that is how I feel. Not made redundant, but pushed out. My working situation has become untenable, and there is no effort to negotiate. I am paid for 21 hours a week- I am obliged to work much much more (well over 50 a few weeks ago, and certainly about 40 usually) and am told that the issue is not workload, but my lack of ability to manage my workload. hmm.

DH is all for going to employment tribunals, but I just want shot of them.

elastamum Mon 11-Mar-13 10:31:09

I think the most awful thing about redundancy whilst on mat leave is that you get a whole extra raft of stress and worry from your employer at a time when you are at your most vulnerable.

When I got 'restructured' out when DS2 was born I had a sick baby, was unwell myself and my dad was dying. On top of this my employers HR manager came round to my house to tell me that they didnt want me back! It was a horrible time.

However, my grasp of employment law is now so good that when similar happened to a friend recently, I drafted a very clear letter to her employer outlining her rights and she got her job back hmm

OrWellyAnn Mon 11-Mar-13 10:32:29

Was made redundant during maternity leave. It's a nightmare scenario, because if you want to go back to work PT you have NO chance of finding PT work in my field unless you have done a lengthy stint of FT work with a company. I ended up not going back to work because I had never intended FT work once i had kids. I have had to set up in business myself. Work is sporadic to say the least.

trice Mon 11-Mar-13 10:41:44

I asked to come back on reduced hours, they suggested I return as self employed consultant. They then gave me very, very reduced hours.

MoonHare Mon 11-Mar-13 10:48:31

I'm another who wasn't made redundant but was instead effectively forced out in unpleasant circumstances.

Smithson6 Mon 11-Mar-13 10:52:07

Happened to me. I found out I was being made redundant from a coworker who had heard it from one of our clients. I was told two months later. Disgraceful behaviour. I didn't fight it, I was too knackered at the time.

mousebacon Mon 11-Mar-13 10:56:03

I have a similar story.

I was demoted from my senior leadership position after having a miscarriage and complications following the erpc.

I've just returned after mat leave and instead of returning to my class, they're keeping my replacement on and I am in a vastly different role with no real 'base.'

sad

foxrivereight Mon 11-Mar-13 11:05:11

I was told I was to get a promotion then announced I was pg with dc1 . Promotion was never mentioned again . I was barely out the building to start mat leave when my young single no-intention-of-having-kids colleague announced she had been promoted. sad

foxrivereight Mon 11-Mar-13 11:09:21

I am currently on mat leave with dc2 and I was treated appallingly by my boss during my pregnancy to the point I had to take sick leave and have meetings with my boss' boss and the hr Dept . Thankfully while on mat leave my boss has been "relocated" so I am hoping things will be better when I return.

Kyyria Mon 11-Mar-13 11:09:25

Happening to me at the moment. Currently on mat leave and work are "restructuring"...my job is the only one affected (surprise, surprise). Options for return involve pay cut. Currrently seeking advice from ACAS and UNISON.

Poledra Mon 11-Mar-13 11:31:15

I was made redundant whilst on mat leave with DD2, but in contrast to a lot of posts here, I feel it was entirely fair - 55% of my department was made redundant. All of the positions the same as mine were made redundant, and my peers only stayed if they took a different job. I was pleased to take the redundancy payment as I was stuck in a rut with that company and was pleased to have the kick up the arse I needed to move somewhere else.

MaMattoo Mon 11-Mar-13 11:32:51

Yup me too. Went back to work and was made to interview for my own job within 4 weeks of returning. Faced taking VR or being made compulsorily redundant. Fought back, kept job. Not been promoted ever since.
It's frustrating and builds anger and resentment that present itself in many different ways.

Happened to me. I'd been back 4 months on part time hours (was originally full time and then some) in a slightly different role. Myself and 3 other females all aged mid 20's to mid 30's got the heave ho.
I'm currently on mat leave again and thankfully was part time to begin with and work are looking forward to me returning. My current employer was rated quite highly in the '100 Best Places to Work in the Public and Charity Sectors' by the Sunday Times.
I am appalled at what I have read on here, whilst I appreciate a lot of people are losing their jobs at the moment simply due to the economic climate, there is absolutely no excuse to penalize people for having children or requesting flexible working.

Activ Mon 11-Mar-13 11:54:41

I have seen this happen to a number of women, but very often it has been exactly what they wanted. Women who were planning not to return, being offered a pay off to leave is not really bad news for them.

Obviously there are others who would have dearly loved to go back, but most of the people I know have considered it very good news indeed. Usually their managers have done them a favour by making sure they were on the list, rather than discriminating against them because they have become mothers.

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