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Demoted after maternity leave

(166 Posts)
Maisy313 Tue 03-Nov-15 19:33:07

I've been back about 6 weeks, we are a small team in a big very well known corporation. Our boss is going on maternity leave, my colleague who was on the same level as me will be replacing her (all fine) but the person who was my junior and stepped up on my maternity leave to my position is now going to be deputy (promotion not an advertised position), the most junior person on the team is also being given a promotion. So all in all I'm the only person on the team not to get a pay rise or a promotion. All former appraisals have been great, never had any bad comments. Was told today by boss that they were just doing the best thing for the team. I want to hand in notice but literally can't afford to until I find something new, feel so sick. I was told that I was a valued member and they did appreciate me but that's just how things are.

Panickingalot Tue 03-Nov-15 19:38:50

Technically you haven't been demoted.

You should have been given opportunity to apply for that position though.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 03-Nov-15 19:42:31

Why would you be promoted having not been there for an extended period of time when your colleagues had been?

You haven't been demoted, you haven't been treated unfairly.

Expecting a promotion/pay rise seems a bit entitled?

MrRobot Tue 03-Nov-15 19:48:43

You've not been demoted at all.

HereIAm20 Tue 03-Nov-15 19:50:58

I think you may be entitled to a pay rise if it was a general office-wide one which happened whilst on maternity leave. However, you haven't been demoted - you are at the same level and others have moved levels. If you mean you haven't had a rise because you didn't get a promotion then you wouldn't be due that.

NeedAScarfForMyGiraffe Tue 03-Nov-15 20:11:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SilverBirchWithout Tue 03-Nov-15 20:16:44

I think you have been "disadvantaged" because you have been on maternity leave. Is there anyone not in the team you can talk to confidentially, HR or a Union Rep maybe?

Most large corporations will have documented procedures about filling vacancies and promotions (even if they are on a temporary basis). I suspect you should have been given an opportunity to apply or state you were interested in these roles.

Want2bSupermum Tue 03-Nov-15 20:24:59

I think it has been badly managed by your boss. If I were you I would have a meeting with your manager and spell out that you are serious about your career and want to know where they see you in the next 1-3 years. If that doesn't fit in with your plans either transfer internally to another department or leave for another job.

BTW - I think it is BS what they have done. All legal but hardly fair.

WineIsMyMainVice Tue 03-Nov-15 20:32:36

I think I would feel badly treated in your position too. Those on here who have said you have not been demoted obviously haven't put themselves in your shoes. And as for calling you 'entitled'.... Well that word is very much over used on this site.
But anyway - I really think that you need to ask to speak to HR or a union if you are a member of one. ACAS could also be worth a call.
Good luck.

AlwaysHope1 Tue 03-Nov-15 20:34:45

You have not been demoted, why would they promote you for no reason?

Seeyounearertime Tue 03-Nov-15 20:36:26

Wouldn't it depend on how long op went on maternity?
If she had 12 months off and all the other team members had to cover her then they've proven themselves and deserve raise and promotion etc?
You could say that's not fair to the person on maternity leave, and its probably not, but isnt it equally unfair to expect people to work harder to cover maternity without reward for doing so?

AnyFucker Tue 03-Nov-15 20:39:47

You haven't been demoted but it sounds like equal opportunities rules have not been applied

You should have been given the opportunity to apply for those posts that appear to have been simply "given" to others. That is not allowed these days. Jobs for the boys and girls is an outdated and usually illegal situation.

AnyFucker Tue 03-Nov-15 20:42:22

See I have spent most of my career working harder to cover maternity leaves (as others did while I was on mine)

I am covering maternity leave now. My workload is higher and I am paid the exact same salary grade I was before. There is no money to pay locums etc because of the impressive maternity benefits available. Swings and roundabouts.

CloakAndJagger Tue 03-Nov-15 20:44:32

You should've been offered the opportunity to apply for the promotion.

This happened to me when I came back from maternity leave. They created a new position, put the person who'd covered me into it and gave them half my team. I still had the same job title and pay, but effectively was demoted.

It's shit. Complete shit and I feel for you. I ended up applying elsewhere, got a new job, better pay and never looked back. Sorry you're having to go through it too though.

Want2bSupermum Tue 03-Nov-15 20:46:21

To be clear, as a manager, what I would have done is have you take over deputy position on a temporary basis, your colleague who is your peer take over the manager position on a temporary basis and the junior person take over your role on a temporary basis. I would have kept everyone with the same title but adjusted pay so no one would know who was getting more.

As a manager I would have had a serious sit down chat with you to ask what your expectations were with regards to your career. Not every mother returning to the workplace wants a promotion or to continue developing their career. I think it is very poor form on their part but you should show leadership and lay out a plan if promotion is a possibility so you have something to work against. If promotion isn't a possibility I would look elsewhere and sue them once you have started your new role, raising the incident at your exit interview.

scatterthenuns Tue 03-Nov-15 20:51:49

You've not been demoted at all. You're going back to where you left off. You can't be promoted after having done nothing.

Yes, it is annoying that previous juniors have been promoted above you, but you couldn't guarantee that wouldn't happen even if you had been in work.

Sit down with your manager, talk about your career's direction, nail the next 6 months and then shape up for the next promotion opportunity.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Tue 03-Nov-15 20:52:39


I can't believe there are all these posters saying "oooh but you weren't really demoted were you <head tilt>"

You were very clearly hugely disadvantaged by going on mat leave.

Call an employment lawyer.

venusinscorpio Tue 03-Nov-15 20:53:43

I agree with SilverBirch. OP is not "entitled" for wanting to be treated fairly. She has been disadvantaged while on maternity leave. She should have been asked if she wanted to apply for the deputy position. Check the exact wording of your HR policy, OP.

MummaV Tue 03-Nov-15 20:54:59

Prior to going on maternity leave I was working in a management role, since being on maternity leave my role has been removed from company structure however my maternity cover has been given a management training position and I am expecting to return to a lower position part time. I'm furious in all honesty but it's all legal and above board.
I know how you feel. Have a chat with your boss.

scatterthenuns Tue 03-Nov-15 20:55:59

Having read some of these posts, I think I have changed my mind.

And I'm now assessing what I think is normal with regard to my own workplace. I'm yet to go on maternity, but am now concerned.

OP, I take back my previous post. I'm not sure it is fair at all. I'm actually shocked at how my office has brainwashed me.

AnyFucker Tue 03-Nov-15 21:01:53

this could also come under sexual discrimination laws too

ValancyJane Tue 03-Nov-15 21:04:45

I think you have been treated unfavourably due to your pregnancy, and as such that is illegal. Personally I'd be challenging it! Don't think YABU at all.

Headofthehive55 Tue 03-Nov-15 21:04:59

You have been demoted! They have all been given a raise in status, thus leaving you alone behind. I think you have an excellent case of unfair treatment.

People get promoted on mat leave where I work, I got offered two better positions whilst pregnant.

Maisy313 Tue 03-Nov-15 21:07:57

It feels like a demotion because I am now the second most junior person in the team. Before I left I was joint most senior in the team. Everyone had been informed of this decision before my boss decided to take me to a public space in the office for a chat today, she leaves in two weeks. I've worked for this organisation for a really long time. It's not that I don't think the junior person deserves a senior roll, she's great and I do, but I don't think I deserve to be totally overlooked.

overthemill Tue 03-Nov-15 21:08:15

Are the other people male? I think there is a chance you have been treated less fairly as a result of taking maternity leave. Do you have a trade union? I would seek advice.

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