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To feel weird about mat replacement being given a job?

(53 Posts)
BraveLilBear Thu 27-Feb-14 08:33:39

I'm back to work in a couple of weeks after 8 months on maternity leave.

It seems I'm returning to a department in disarray - we have no line manager after the last, incompetent one, was sent on her way; and the wider department is full of temps and apparently warring factions.

My team was made up of me, same level equivalent in different role (pt) and the manager.

Currently there is my replacement, same level equivalent is doing an extra day and is defacto boss, and there's a ft temp.

I found out yesterday through a colleague from the wider office that my mat replacement has been given a job on a much longer term basis (and possibly permanent).

I feel pretty weird about this. She has some strengths but is not as experienced as me and there are fundamental elements of the job where she is reportedly quite weak.

Yet she has had a job created for her, and as things stand, we'll be at the same level - and I will be at a disadvantage as she's been there for the last 8 months.

No job was advertised, and no one has had the common courtesy to keep me informed. Is this even legal? My ego feels edged out and frankly a bit miffed. I appreciate some of this is general angst about returning to such chaos (I anticipate same-level person and I will be locked in a battle for power for quite some time) - but feel unsettled by this development.


MajorGrinch Thu 27-Feb-14 08:38:03

My ego feels edged out and frankly a bit miffed.

This says it all.

Why should your company lose the skills and training they've invested in this person who has been doing your job for the past 8 months?

It makes a lot more sense than recruiting someone new surely?

I'd suggest you suck it up & concentrate on getting your own skills back up to speed before worrying about someone else's....

Fregola Thu 27-Feb-14 08:38:31

It sounds like an opportunity for you to push for the old line manager's job and get a promotion to me.

coco44 Thu 27-Feb-14 08:39:25

well if the department is full of temps, then I think your job is very secure.Iam not sutre why you think it would be illegal for this woman to have her contract extended? Why would you have wanted to apply for a job on the same level?

GinSoakedMisery Thu 27-Feb-14 08:41:46

Legally, your employers can only keep your position open to you for the first 6 months of your maternity leave. After that they can move you where they want as long as you stay at the same level.

I can understand why you're feeling miffed, but if you've not worked with your mat cover before, how do you know she is not as good as you?

Give her the benefit of the doubt until you start back. And enjoy the rest of your maternity leave.

midnightagents Thu 27-Feb-14 08:42:15

I think Yabu. I honestly don't see the problem unless they are giving her your job and sacking you. It doesn't sound like they are doing this so what's the problem? Better to share the load surely? Not much worse than working in an understaffed environment.

WooWooOwl Thu 27-Feb-14 08:45:57


littledrummergirl Thu 27-Feb-14 08:46:42

Why will you be locked in a power struggle? That seems ridiculous to me.
Go to work, do your job and then go home to your baby.
If you think you should be in charge then show your bosses how good you are.
What makes you think that she is weak in areas, have you worked with her or are you basing this on hearsay from people who want to sooth your ego.
This is the sort of attitude I would expect to see in a school playground not a professional workplace.

MidniteScribbler Thu 27-Feb-14 08:49:02

I anticipate same-level person and I will be locked in a battle for power for quite some time

Or you could grow up, work together with this person, do the job you are paid to do and remember that you are an employee, not a despotic dictator hell bent on world domination.

Lottiedoubtie Thu 27-Feb-14 08:50:30

Yabu, it's nothing to do with you if she has been offered a job that extends her contract but doesn't push you out.

Plenty of people get jobs this way.

cozietoesie Thu 27-Feb-14 08:52:12

Think of things from her perspective. It's entirely possible that she's been desperate for a job and is completely thrilled to get something more permanent - and maybe is even full of trepidation and nerves about your own return!

Go into work, smile and take her under your wing and enjoy getting back to the day job.

WorraLiberty Thu 27-Feb-14 08:52:24


'Locked in a battle for power' kind of says it all.

Just go and do your job to the best of your ability and don't worry about who has more 'power'.

BraveLilBear Thu 27-Feb-14 09:06:08

The power struggle will be with the one who's 4 days a week and acting like she's the boss, not my replacement.

We used to work well together to offset the inept boss but she has now decided she's in charge. She refuses to take on board my very rational, very logical ideas for creating some semblance of order in the office and is a very domineering character (I am not).

I'm happy that my stand-in has done a good enough job to stay.

I just feel weird that where there used to be 1 ft person (me) there now appears to be 3. All 4 of us are on the same paygrade.

I will definitely be applying for the manager's job but it still hasn't been approved for recruitment (she left in Jan I think).

I know IABU, but I just feel weird about it.

cozietoesie Thu 27-Feb-14 09:17:07

I suspect that a large part of the weirdness is just the going back to work. (You're bound to feel uncertain about things and a little estranged from the situation.)

Just relax as much as possible, don't tire yourself out rushing around like a mad thing in the first few days - and then reassess working life in a week or two once you're reaccustomed to things.

kerala Thu 27-Feb-14 09:22:34

You sound like the loon who utterly screwed over my dh. He was seconded to a client company as mat leave cover was never going to work there permanently as had a good job elsewhere. But he's amazing at his job and all the management rated him. He worked on a complex matter for months. Mat leave nutter returns and gives entire piece of work to her pal who knew nothing just because she couldn't bear it that her replacement had done a good job. Losing that work cost dh his promotion all because of some insecure new mothers ego

PlumSykes Thu 27-Feb-14 09:26:48

I think you know you are being irrational, but that's okay. Going back after mat leave is bound to make you feel vulnerable, and a bit mental. Try to keep an open mind, see how the land lies when you get back, and go from there.

YouAreTalkingRubbish Thu 27-Feb-14 09:30:31

YABU and a bit silly. sad Why on earth would you think you 'will be locked ins power struggle'. It sounds very competitive.

PumpkinPie2013 Thu 27-Feb-14 09:31:50

I think yabu. It sounds as if things are in a bit of a mess with the depature of the line manager and a lot of temp staff.

By offering your mat cover a more permanent job the company can continue to develop the skills they've started to develop in her and things can start to become a bit more ordered again.

You could go for the line manager role if it comes up and you want it?

I'd say go back with an open mind. She might well be a good colleague and even become a friend.

PumpkinPie2013 Thu 27-Feb-14 09:33:33

Forgot to say - at our place we often keep people who have covered maternity leaves if they are good and we can retain them without displacing the person returning.

comicsansisevil Thu 27-Feb-14 09:40:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DonnaDishwater Thu 27-Feb-14 09:41:01

Why should the employer not keep on the temp if they are doing a good job?

DonnaDishwater Thu 27-Feb-14 09:41:58

Is this in the public sector? Because it sounds very disorganised and disfunctional to me.

softlysoftly Thu 27-Feb-14 09:42:25

I actually understand, Inwas mat leave cover then left, I was contacted and offered a permanent job there taking over part of the role and accepted.

We actually like each other but there is still a tension, I am one going on mat and no idea what will happen.

It's actually not as irrational as people are saying, a workplace in disarray, lots of change, all leads to a sense of insecurity which can be valid in some cases. However that is the companies responsibility to rectify, it's not actually fair to hold it against the person who has accepted a job in good faith.

It's all very we'll saying that you shouldn't worry at all, that is only if you are working for a good and stable company.
However you can't do anything other than a good job!

ViviPru Thu 27-Feb-14 09:47:59

In high street retail fashion design, the vast majority of workers are female between the ages of 25-40. As such, whole swathes of departments are staggered on maternity leave at the same time and it's very unusual for someone to return from their leave to a department that resembles anything like it did when she left, and also unusual for temps not to be taken on FT, often in the role they covered.

Stop feeling weird about it and focus on getting that manager's job!

phoolani Thu 27-Feb-14 10:02:01

This happened to a friend of mine. Turned out, they did it because they all just preferred the woman who did the mat cover - she was 'perkier' it seems - and when my friend returned they all basically made their preference clear. To the extent that my friend lasted about 3 horrible months before she allowed herself to be forced out.

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