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To be annoyed with work?

(14 Posts)
samidolls Tue 07-Nov-17 08:49:08

This is quite a long ramble so I’ll apologise now.

Background info- I’m almost 30 weeks pregnant, I told work just after our 12 week scan so they’ve known about my pregnancy for approximately 4 months.

I’ve worked for the company for a couple of years, and have spent the last year covering the job of an employee in long term sick as well as continuing with my own work and bring the company through an audit.

When I told my boss I was pregnant they said they’d never had to do maternity leave/pay before so would have to figure it out and tell me about it in due course, 2 weeks later I got a letter stating they would confirm what leave and benefits I was entitled to when I handed in my matb1 certificate.

I’ve carried on as normal, and have had a fairly easy pregnancy so I’be not been out sick at all and have just carried on with my workload. During this time my colleague in sick has started a phased return (this is now in its 5th month, and I’m still covering about 60% of her work). She’s is very defensive and difficult to work with. In covering her job I’d had minimal training before she went off sick as she doesn’t like anybody else to do her work in case they steal her job hmm
(For the record I have no interest in having her role full time) so I went in basically blind and muddled through, we got to a stage where things were running smoothly if not exactly as it was previously.
Since she’s returned to work it’s become a bit of a rubbish situation for me, she won’t ask me any questions about work, and she only talks to me to tell me I’ve done something wrong (generally not wrong just different to her method) she doesn’t hand over when she leaves and so I’m left flapping to catch up. It’s very difficult to address this with her as she immediately starts shouting (she’s always been this way) and then allowances are made for her because she has had cancer. (I’m not denying she has been through an incredibly difficult time, but if she is ready to come back to work surely she should be able to handle the work load).

So that’s the first thing that’s got me down/annoyed.

The next thing is the letter I received from work last week finally telling me my maternity pay and including a risk assessment. The maternity pay is smp only which has really wound me up (I know the sick employee got her full salary for 6 months) but I know I have no recourse as legally that’s all they have to pay me, but I do feel a bit cheated, I’ve worked my arse off for the last 18 months and not even had a thank you! I also wonder if this was only decided after I put in my maternity dates with my matb1 as I’m taking the full year (I did think about coming back early but thought it best to put in dates for a year which I could adjust later).
The risk assessment I’ve had done just seems like a bit of a joke to me. I’m not sure how a risk assessment can be done when I’m not even present but that’s what has happened.

Apparently I’m unlikely to sit at my desk or use my computer for long periods of time, yet my job is 90% office work. So I’m sat at my desk for ~7 hours out of every 9. They provide a rest area by allowing me to go out of work on a lunchtime... and I have a fully adjustable office chair. I don’t, it goes up and down and that’s it. I already bought a back support because I was so uncomfortable about a 8 weeks prior to the risk assessment.

There’s nothing about going into the factory, which as part of my job I have to pass through to get to a ‘lab’ that’s running machinery. We manufacture plastic pellets so generally have molten plastic about and lots of pellets of the floor- surely this should be taken into account?

And then the last thing- yesterday I put in a holiday for for the start of the new year, my maternity leave is due to start early January so I’ve put in a holiday request to cover the first part of the month, effectively I’ll finish when we break up for Xmas but be on holiday to start with. I have this to my boss yesterday (who is the M.D./owner) and first he questioned why I was doing that, but in a very accusatory manner and then asked we’ll do you even get holiday?!

Apparently he doesn’t deal with these things so he’ll show it to the hr director, who happens to be his wife.

The whole thing has just really wound me up, I feel like I’ve worked so hard to have everything thrown in my face, and surely as the M.D. he should make it his business to look into these things (it’s a very small company, only 16 employees). The fact it’s taken 4 months to tell me I’m only getting smp and to give me a risk assessment that’s not worth the paper it’s written on (or at least that’s how I feel).

I don’t want to be here any more and each day getting up to come to work is so difficult. I’m struggling to sleep since all this has kicked off though I’m not sure if that’s just due to my sheer size now!

I’ve written this on the app so sorry if I don’t make any sense!!

MyOtherProfile Tue 07-Nov-17 08:52:47

That's horrible. Are you in a union?

Littleelffriend Tue 07-Nov-17 08:52:49

Most companies only offer smp. You should have checked.

Miniwerewolfhugs Tue 07-Nov-17 09:12:17

They haven't treated you very nicely but you only have 6 weeks to go so I would just grin and bear it. Maybe think about whether you want to go back to work there after your maternity leave or look for another job.

samidolls Thu 09-Nov-17 11:01:23

I’m not part of a union, I’m not even sure if there is a union I could join?!

I did try to check but as I said the company has never done any maternity leave before so they’d have to make a decision.

At this moment in time I have no intention of returning to work here, but maybe I’ll change my mind once the baby arrives and ya getting to time to go back to work!

I’m just so fed up with it all... I’m still waiting to hear back if I’ll be allowed to take the beginning of January as holiday! My boss seems to have gone into ostrich mode!

disahsterdahling Thu 09-Nov-17 11:07:08

Anyone can join a union although they won't help with situations that already existed when you joined them.

So if you are reading this - and aren't the OP - join a union now.

OP I would suggest you ask for this to be moved to employment where there are some very wise heads to advise you.

Coastalcommand Thu 09-Nov-17 12:58:34

I'd echo that. Joining a unions is the best thing to do in any job.

RaindropsAndSparkles Thu 09-Nov-17 13:08:43

Unless your contract company policies referred to greater mat benefits than statutory, why would you have expected more than That?

You are entitled to take any accrued annual leave outstanding before mat leave if agreed or it can be carried to the end of the mat leave period to be taken then. You will accrue contractual a/l while on mat leave. Either take it before end of mat leave and be reinstated on full pay or extend mat leave.

Your colleague is an entirely separate issue and she or he will have been entitled contractually to the sick pay.

LostMyMojoSomewhere Thu 09-Nov-17 13:12:41

As a PP says most companies only pay SMP (especially those with only 16 employees) and those which offer enhanced packages generally only give them to employees after 2 years' service. (That's my experience anyway).

Tbh I lost a bit of sympathy for you OP when you mentioned the colleague with cancer "getting 6 months at full pay". hmm I will be kind and point out that it's totally irrelevant and NOYB.

On the risk assessment thing, the situation you have described doesn't get more risky because you are pregnant. The type of danger you are implying exists affects everyone equally. If you are concerned about a particular risk pertaining to your pregnancy (e.g posture, standing, breaks) then I suggest you raise it.

On the holiday, yes it's frustrating but a holiday request is just that (as most employment contracts will confirm). If the MD is planning to arrange mat cover from X date and you are basically asking him to bring that date forward (with Christmas in the way) then he is probably quite reasonably trying to consider whether that works for the business.

LostMyMojoSomewhere Thu 09-Nov-17 13:17:16

if she is ready to come back to work surely she should be able to handle the work load

Also, isn't that the point of a phased return? Being mean about your colleague and begrudging her rights won't improve yours (which sound pretty standard anyway tbh).

MiniCooperLover Thu 09-Nov-17 14:28:33

If you’re lucky OP and they are clueless about maternity leave you may get away without having to return to work a minimum amount of time to ‘repay’ your ML as many firms do.

peachgreen Thu 09-Nov-17 14:48:58

Sorry OP but SMP is pretty standard and should have been what you expected without an enhanced maternity leave policy in place. To be honest, most companies make you pay back enhanced maternity leave if you don't come back anyway, so it might end up being a blessing in disguise in your situation.

You do absolutely accrue holiday (and bank holidays) when on maternity leave so you should have the same allowance next year as you would have done had you been at work full time. However, they don't have to grant your request to take holiday at the beginning of your maternity leave, unfortunately.

They should undertake a risk assessment although in my experience these are really only to look at heavy lifting and exposure to dangerous chemicals.

Oly5 Thu 09-Nov-17 14:55:42

Peach green is right. I work for a huge company and it’s still SMP only! You do accrue annual leave but they don’t have to grant you your wish to have it exactly when you want. The risk assessment they’ve done sounds standard.
Your colleague’s sick pay and phased return is nothing to do with you. I’m sorry you’ve had to work extra hard to cover her - and it’s annoying it’s not appreciated - But her terms are between her and the firm.
Sorry but many firms treat mat leave as “nothing special”

Swizzlesticks23 Thu 09-Nov-17 15:08:22

Did you not check when you joined about maternity and sick pay. Did you not read the terms in your contract ?

Do you have a contract ?

I would ask for something formal to be drawn up going forward incase your sick etc in the future so your aware and you know. Last thing you want is to be worrying about money if your sick or terminally ill e.g. Cancer.

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