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Aibu mat leave shouldn’t count as a year of work on cv?

(330 Posts)
windygallows Wed 27-Feb-19 18:55:39

I’m currently Interviewing candidates including an internal colleague who claims to have 3 yrs experience In a particular skill/role. However over 1 yr of those 3yrs she was off on mat leave.

I think it’s okay for her to say she was employed in the role for 3 yrs but she can’t really say she has 3 yrs experience doing it, can she? Really she’s only been doing the tasks involved in her role for 2 years. This fact is important since the role requires significant experience and I think 2 years is not enough.

I’ve been on mat leave twice and not trying to discrimate, just trying to be logical about it. Would welcome thoughts on whether I’m BU or not I’m thinking 3 yrs employed does not equal 3 yrs experience.

I haven’t checked with HR but pretty sure they wouldn’t agree with me!

Kochicoo Wed 27-Feb-19 18:58:31

YANBU. I agree with your reasoning.

havingtochangeusernameagain Wed 27-Feb-19 19:00:28

I guess it depends if her two years was quality experience. Because she's internal, it's better than external experience that you don't know. Anyone can say they have 5 years but it may be poor quality experience.

I do get your reasoning, but I would be more concerned with competence than adding up years.

User300 Wed 27-Feb-19 19:00:33

Yanbu I agree with you while she has been employed for three years she hasn’t been doing the tasks involved with the job for three years

HaventGotAllDay Wed 27-Feb-19 19:02:19

She has been (for example) a teacher for 3 years but she hasn't worked as one for 3 years, no.

windygallows Wed 27-Feb-19 19:03:51

By the way I would say the same thing about a man who took a sabbatical for a year!

HeadsDownThumbsUpEveryone Wed 27-Feb-19 19:05:19

I don't think you are being unreasonable it's simple logic. She cannot have 3 years experience if she has only actively been doing the role for 2 of the 3 years.

I'm not sure why HR wouldn't agree with you. Like you said its about how she has worded her experience. If she had said she has 3 years in the role then you wouldn't be querying it but its simply not true she has 3 years experience actively doing the role.

m0therofdragons Wed 27-Feb-19 19:05:48

I say I worked in x place for 5 years but would never include mat leave on a cv and I don't believe it's legal to ask for it. Therefore there would be a gap in my cv which I would be penalised for unless I explain it... but being a mum can also go against me so I think it's completely normal and fair to include a year of mat leave as a year of employment. With nhs you still get financial increment the year you were on mat leave.

MeredithGrey1 Wed 27-Feb-19 19:10:22

I’d probably agree with you, but I think judging candidates by quantity of time rather than actual quality of experience isn’t necessarily very helpful anyway. I’m sure we’ve all worked with people who have years of experience and still aren’t any good.

Curiousmum69 Wed 27-Feb-19 19:11:53

She doesn't have to mention. Maternity leave.

You can't take it into account. So technically she has 3 years experience (assuming she is back doing the role now).

If she wasn't an internal candidate you wouldn't know otherwise

Enidblyton1 Wed 27-Feb-19 19:14:05

I totally agree with your point, but agree with pps that I wouldn’t get hung up on number of years. Someone with 2 years could easily be better at their job than someone with 10 years experience.

Tomtontom Wed 27-Feb-19 19:17:16

I expect HR would quietly agree with you but can't officially say so. There are instances where women will have two maternity leaves in that period, so could have only a year of experience in the role.

windygallows Wed 27-Feb-19 19:22:38

If I use that logic about length of experience then I could say someone with 3 wks good experience is preferable to someone with 10. For those managing people there really needs to be some time spent under your belt managinf different staff issues. Moreover with project management there really needs to be time spent starting and completing a project. Not interested in employing people with short bursts of work who only dipped into projects half way though.

windygallows Wed 27-Feb-19 19:23:10

I meant to add ‘10 years’ above not just 10.

Que0 Wed 27-Feb-19 19:23:26

Does it really matter? It is what it is. Most women will take maternity at some point - it’s hardly a shocker. Either she’s competent or not within whatever assessment framework you’re using. You could have someone with ten years experience who is useless.

windygallows Wed 27-Feb-19 19:23:52

Through not ‘though’

windygallows Wed 27-Feb-19 19:25:11

It matters because she is insisting she has done the work in the job for 3 yrs including essentially taking credit for work done when she was on leave. Would you be happy for a man on sabbatical to claim he worked that year and gained necessary experience in his role - which he wasn’t doing?

Boulardii Wed 27-Feb-19 19:26:10

If she wasn't an internal candidate you wouldn't know otherwise...
This is the problem. I think you need to look at her cv on face value and not use prior knowledge to influence shortlisting.
Then you need to design the interview to reveal the extent of the experience.

Teddyreddy Wed 27-Feb-19 19:26:14

I think it's a tricky one, I wouldn't want to put maternity leave on my CV so not really sure what you supposed to do other than word things carefully....

It seems a but odd that you think 3 years is enough experience but 2 years isn't though. Someone whose hand has been held for all the time they've been in the role could have more years but less actual experience than someone who has been thrown in the deep end by themselves most of the time.

melissasummerfield Wed 27-Feb-19 19:27:52

If it was an external candidate you would have no idea if they had taken maternity or a sabatical so you are essentially discriminating against her as an internal candidate, so yes yabu hmm

MistressDeeCee Wed 27-Feb-19 19:27:54

If she wasn't an internal candidate you wouldn't know otherwise

^ This

You appear to be biased .

FuerzaAreaUruguay Wed 27-Feb-19 19:27:55


Que0 Wed 27-Feb-19 19:28:06

Yes but it doesn’t matter what she claims because you know that, although employed by the company, she was on maternity during that time. So just factor that in accordingly, surely. But as PP have said, external candidates may have had long periods off for illness or all sorts of things that they might not disclose.

Iliketeaagain Wed 27-Feb-19 19:28:05

Thing is, you only know about her mat leave because she's an internal candidate. An external candidate would just write 3 years of employment in X role and you would be none the wiser as to whether 1 of those years was maternity leave. I have "13 years experience with my current employer, but I don't note maternity leave dates in the middle of that as I was still employed by the organisation.

So yes, unless you are judging ALL candidates by mat leave as "time not gaining experience" then it's discriminating against the internal candidate because you happen to have that information.

AssassinatedBeauty Wed 27-Feb-19 19:31:14

You should be brave enough to state your bias on the job advert and be clear that you will be disregarding any maternity leave and ask all candidates to disclose it.

Judging candidates based just on time in role like this isn't the best way of determining competency.

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