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to be a bit pissed off at my work?

(21 Posts)
bletheringboys Fri 04-Mar-16 21:28:48

Sorry, am on full ranting mode, please bear with me...

I've had a couple of beers and am due to go back to work after maternity leave and have been dwelling over a few things, which to be honest have been bothering me.

I work in a job which I have worked in for over 4 years. I work in a heavily understaffed and underfunded public service which has been even more heavily understaffed and underfunded as the years have went on. I have taken on a lot of responsibility since my boss left over two years ago, taking on a lot of her workload and responsibilities for no extra income or recognition.

I work part time and am desperate to go full time, but have to wait, like some others, for posts to become available, which are few and far between.

I work in a children's department, a department which is very heavily used but gets no real credit compared to other departments for the work it does. We also faced a lot of extra work with just three members of staff - only one full time.

I ran a lot of family groups on my own due to being the only staff member who was willing and able to do them. When I went on maternity leave they had to cancel all of the groups because nobody else was able or willing to run them claiming it was too much work.

While I was on maternity leave 4 full time posts came up, of which my line manager told me nothing about, despite it being written in the policy that if any come up I am to be as informed as everyone else. My colleague told me about one and I found out about the rest via a website.

When I told my line manager I was applying for my old boss's job, I was told she would 'have to ask if I could' as I was pregnant/on maternity leave. hmm Then was very flustered when she told me I could, but obviously I was on maternity, so...

I went to all interviews, one while heavily pregnant and three after birth (horrendous c-section btw which was talked about IN THE INTERVIEW by my bosses sad ) One was 5 weeks after birth. At each interview remarks were made about the fact I was on maternity leave each time in an obvious way, like OBVIOUSLY YOU ARE ON MATERNITY LEAVE but IF you get this job...

I know everyone has to have a chance etc, but one of the jobs was a full time position in my department, in the job I had done for 3 years very well previously. I have given my all to this job. I have customers, children and their parents who know me by name and whom I have built up relationships with. I had been working closely with outside agencies, one of my groups was so popular that it got too busy...grr.

When I asked what I had done wrong in interview, I was told someone else 'had the better interview'.

I was 5 weeks post partum ffs! Did 3 years of doing a great job not count for anything?

Apart from that heap of shite (which I'm honestly trying to talk myself into getting over, I promise) my line manager has been less than helpful during my maternity. If I hadn't had gotten in touch with her, she would never have even spoken to me.

She'd 'forgotten that it was time (for me) to come back'. Excellent. And there have been a massive amount of changes in my department - all my groups have stopped, I have a new boss who has changed everything and there is a new full time member of staff too. stop the ranting and raving and roaring....

AIBU to be pissed off and to feel the way I do? Please help me put this to rest.

I feel totally stripped of any motivation to work as hard when I go back, I feel completely demoralised and totally disrespected.
I feel like I missed out because I happened to be pregnant/on mat leave at the wrong time.

Hobbes8 Fri 04-Mar-16 21:40:15

Well of course you're pissed off. They've massively discriminated against you. I'm surprised - I thought the public sector was pretty shit hot on this sort of thing.

edwinbear Fri 04-Mar-16 21:40:39

YANBU, from what you have written it sounds as if you have been discriminated against. Do you have legal cover with your home insurance? If so its probably worth trying to get some proper legal advice.

Littleallovertheshop Fri 04-Mar-16 21:51:14

You need to take legal advice sharpish. Talk to ACAS, they're super friendly and helpful. YANBU - so much of what has happened is out of order.

bletheringboys Fri 04-Mar-16 21:54:57

I feel like I want to make a big deal about it but I just know they will have done it in a way which will cover their asses, iyswim?

When I asked for flexible working hours when I return (for childcare reasons), I was advised it has to be 'to meet the needs of the service' which my line manager unofficially told me would mean 'changing location'...which they mean sticking me in a dead end part of the service, which would destroy me, as I thrive on the work in the central department.

Thanks for acknowledging me...I've been questioning whether or not it was crazy baby hormones making me feel this way... sad

I have to go back next month for at least 3 months.

I'm considering leaving completely to become a childminder - same kind of job but I'd be working for myself. I would miss my job though. I love it so much and am well suited to it.

A colleague who got a similar job at a similar time to me got a full time post in her department. She has no children. It really is the only difference between us. We both got the job at the same time and work at the same level, are the same age in a service which is mainly run by older women. We both work similar roles with similar responsibilities - I work in a children's dept with added responsibilities. She was also surprised I never got the equivalent job to hers - job progression is often mirrored at our level because of slow movement in positions.

I've been telling myself that I must have had a truly shit interview. But I'm still floored that my experience counted for nothing.

What can I do? What would you do?

redexpat Fri 04-Mar-16 21:55:24

I read on another thread that thye give jobs based on interview for the job available, not for the job you've had. So that may explain some of it, but you are right and it sounds as if there have been breaches of discrimination law, and their own policy. Are you in a Union? If not get some advice from ACAS and/or CAB. Do you want to pursue a grievance? Or just update your CV and look elsewhere? I'm not surprised you feel undervalued.

lazyarse123 Fri 04-Mar-16 22:01:57

You are definitely not BU. I had a similar situation. I worked in a school kitchen for 16 years, and i frequently ran it and other kitchens, being in charge, cooking, ordering, staffing,etc. When my bosses job came up i was completely overlooked. I felt so undervalued and disrespected especially when the new cook completely ignored everything i suggested. Fortunately i had another job who did value me (and still do over a year later). So i left and couldn't be happier. I hope you get it sorted. flowers

Fuzz01 Fri 04-Mar-16 22:02:13

Maybe they wanted someone more flexiable and you didnt fit their criteria especially requested a flexiable working form. The other canadiate may be able to work the extra necessary unflexiable hours that was available. I think you are entitled to ask for feedback from your interview which should give you a better idea.

bletheringboys Fri 04-Mar-16 22:05:32

I was wholly open to being flexible and able to work whenever they wanted. For a full time job, I said in interview, I was willing to reconsider maternity length. One of the interviews was for my old boss's job (which I had been doing in part in her absence for a year) and I said I was willing to do any extra work, training, learning etc on my maternity if needs be.

I was very willing to fit their needs!

edwinbear Fri 04-Mar-16 22:05:38

I think you need to speak to your HR and state that you were surprised not to get the job and ask for detailed feedback as to why. Then take it from there. You will need to go through the formal grievance procedures before you can start any legal procedures and that whole process can have its disadvantages. But if you start hinting that you feel discrimination is at play you may well find they find you a full time position sharpish.

bletheringboys Fri 04-Mar-16 22:06:41

That's horrible lazyarse123 wine

Not nice at all!

bletheringboys Fri 04-Mar-16 22:09:24

I'm really worried about starting any formal grievance procedures edwinbear I know how long and horrible they can be, and how much stress and bad feeling they can put someone under.

In a public service too, rumours and chit chat always abound sad Not sure I want to be the base of everyone's gossip for however long it takes. But at the same time I really don't want to walk away without saying something...

MelanieCheeks Fri 04-Mar-16 22:12:55

You really need to talk to a union rep asap.

But one thing did jump out at me from your posts. You said something like "Did my 3 years of good work count for nothing?"

I'm afraid when it comes down to interviews as a selection process, then yes, your previous work and the knowledge that the panel might have of it are irrelevant. They have to treat all interviewees on a level footing, so there can't be any consideration of any factors outside that interview room.

edwinbear Fri 04-Mar-16 22:13:48

I think it would be relatively easy to say something along the lines of 'I feel I was at a disadvantage having so recently given birth, so would appreciate some detailed feedback as to the differences between me and the successful candidate for my own personal development' as part of an informal discussion.

Junosmum Fri 04-Mar-16 22:15:40

Umm, not only is it unfair but also illegal- seek legal advice, I would say they breached the equality act...

bletheringboys Fri 04-Mar-16 22:23:08

I know MelanieCheeks, I think that's why I've been dwelling on it for so long. Of course, other candidates had every right as I did to get the job - they also have experience and work hard. I guess I just felt like they made such a big deal of the fact I was on maternity leave. And also to chat about c-sections and babies informally at interview too - it outed my position from the outset and made it so much more obvious. No other candidate had to deal with that.

I had to go from chatting about my crazy amount of blood loss on an operating table 5 weeks previously while getting a baby yanked out of me to talking about how I would deal with an aggro customer in about 5 mins flat.

CrazyCatLady13 Fri 04-Mar-16 22:30:23

HR person here.

The employer must treat someone on maternity leave the same as if she was at work - so payrises, bonuses etc. They are also responsible for updating you on changes to your work place including if possible keep in touch days while on maternity leave.

You've been treated shockingly and discriminated against and you have a great case for a discrimination case.

Regarding flexible working - they can refuse this if it would affect the running of the department / be against business needs. Employers should however do a proper investigation as to whether flexible working can be accommodated, not just say no. Did you give them proposals as to how your flexible working could be accommodated and the impact minimised? This can help your case.

If you don't have a union, you can contact ACAS (there's a number on their website you can call) and they'll offer free impartial advice.

I'm always shocked to see that employers are still treating people like this!

bletheringboys Fri 04-Mar-16 22:31:24

What do I say to appear not crazy at a grievance procedure?

And not like I simply have a grudge against not getting the full time job?
Which I suppose I do in a little way (but only because I did that job in some pretty crazy circumstances for a long time quite well I think anyway and am pretty miffed that someone way outside of the spec got?)

I think it was pretty fucking obvious at interview too that I would have walked on water for that job. They know damn fine it was a life-changing thing for me and I am passionate as fuck about what I do.

Ah shit. There's the crazy. This is why I cannot take it to grievance.

I also feel like though that my line manager has not contacted me throughout my maternity because she knows damn fine it was a really shitty shitty move not to hire me on a full time basis.

I did a lot of work for her and made her life very easy for a while.

bletheringboys Fri 04-Mar-16 22:34:51

Thank you crazycatlady !!

I guess I am asking how do I broach the inequality? I'm pretty sure they'll have a way of saying they covered themselves and I'll just look like a pissed off person with a grievance because of job rejection.

I am very annoyed with the way I have been treated in maternity leave though, regardless of interviews. I just don't want to get shafted. Again.

yummumto3girls Fri 04-Mar-16 23:25:06

I put in a grievance to my employer a few years ago for the same thing, amongst other stuff aswell. I accepted a settlement figure and never went back!!

Stop worrying about how others perceive you, ask for the scoring and notes taken at interview and detailed feedback on why you didn't get the job. The decision will based purely on how you performed at interview. Once you have this you can make a decision on whether you pursue a grievance but based on what you have said you certainly would have a case for sex discrimination.

Fatmomma99 Sat 05-Mar-16 01:01:11

Are you in trade union member?

They'll support you (you sound public sector!)

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