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Is this discrimination? Mat cover on more than me

(41 Posts)
Emyrave Sun 07-Jun-20 22:37:10

Hello,

First time poster to Mumsnet here - thanks in advance for any advice. I’m a few weeks away from taking mat leave - my first baby. My company is in the final throes of hiring a man who comes highly recommended. This man won’t join us on a contract position though - only permanent. I’ve been verbally assured my job is safe and that if anything I will manage him. I’ve interviewed this man and we graduated the same year, similar degrees and career paths but if anything my experience is better than his - I am not boasting - it truly is. However my boss mistakenly forwarded on an email chain which states that my replacement wants a salary 10K more than mine. This is apparently not a problem and they are continuing the negotiation this week. I’m certain I need to flag I’ve read this and that I find it concerning but I’m also - sorry - in hot angry tears about it. Context - I moved cities and needed a job so took a major pay cut for this one - I was undergoing IVF and my priority was and is the baby we are so lucky to finally (nearly) have. So I took it on the chin. But this feels like this bloke waltzes in and commands 10K more than me? And will be permanent? Is this ok? I really appreciate any advice / thanks in advance.

OP’s posts: |
Lockeduporknockedup Sun 07-Jun-20 22:39:29

It's not discrimination. Maternity covers usually get paid more because they don't have any job security. This means they spend a lot of time moving jobs or without work. This is completely standard and normal. If they didn't pay maternity cover more then no one would do maternity cover.

dontlikebeards Sun 07-Jun-20 22:40:35

Ask for a pay rise.

AStarSoBright Sun 07-Jun-20 22:40:40

It's not discrimination if your job is still available to you after maternity leave. He can ask for a higher salary, presumably ge won't actually know what you earn?

Panicbuying Sun 07-Jun-20 22:41:28

@Lockeduporknockedup op says he is coming in as perm, not temporary

modgepodge Sun 07-Jun-20 22:41:34

I don’t know anything about the legality of this, but a similar thing happened to my sister. I think she used it to negotiate a pay rise on her return -‘clearly you value to job as worth XXX so I assume you’ll be happy to pay that on my return?’

My only experience is in teaching where there are pay scales (or used to be at least). In that situation it’s very possible someone could be hired even though on a higher pay scale to do the same job, so I can’t see that it would be illegal.

I have heard one of the reasons for the gender pay gap is that men are more pushy and are more likely to question salary when accepting job and push for a pay rise. Perhaps he has just asked for more - and as you say your mind was elsewhere so perhaps you were happy to accept a lower salary without asking for more?

Dyrne Sun 07-Jun-20 22:42:55

It’s not discrimination; he asked for it, you didn’t (though sympathies as it’s acknowledged that women struggle with asking for pay rises etc).

Use it to negotiate a pay increase for yourself. Not from a discrimination angle; but now you know your company is willing to pay so much for someone else with comparable skills, you know more what you’re worth.

(Oh and I wouldn’t accept a “verbal” acknowledgement that my job is safe. Get your concerns down in writing).

Emyrave Sun 07-Jun-20 22:42:57

Panicbuying

*@Lockeduporknockedup* op says he is coming in as perm, not temporary

Thanks - I’m aware that temp roles get paid more (and should) but this guy is perm.

OP’s posts: |
SciFiScream Sun 07-Jun-20 22:45:04

If you manage him on your return. You'll be senior. You should therefore earn more than him. Ask for the pay rise now. If you have any pensions contributions from your company they get paid at the contractual salary rate.

Don't wait. Do it now.

Emyrave Sun 07-Jun-20 22:46:32

modgepodge

I don’t know anything about the legality of this, but a similar thing happened to my sister. I think she used it to negotiate a pay rise on her return -‘clearly you value to job as worth XXX so I assume you’ll be happy to pay that on my return?’

My only experience is in teaching where there are pay scales (or used to be at least). In that situation it’s very possible someone could be hired even though on a higher pay scale to do the same job, so I can’t see that it would be illegal.

I have heard one of the reasons for the gender pay gap is that men are more pushy and are more likely to question salary when accepting job and push for a pay rise. Perhaps he has just asked for more - and as you say your mind was elsewhere so perhaps you were happy to accept a lower salary without asking for more?

Thanks. I did try and argue more (albeit just once and mildly) but I accepted their reasoning ‘based on your experience this is what we think you are worth’ - now I see that was all just swagger and I should have stuck to my guns. Thanks for responding - it’s hard to know what to do

OP’s posts: |
Lockeduporknockedup Sun 07-Jun-20 22:46:43

If he's permanent then will two of you being doing one job when you go back?

Emyrave Sun 07-Jun-20 22:47:41

Dyrne

It’s not discrimination; he asked for it, you didn’t (though sympathies as it’s acknowledged that women struggle with asking for pay rises etc).

Use it to negotiate a pay increase for yourself. Not from a discrimination angle; but now you know your company is willing to pay so much for someone else with comparable skills, you know more what you’re worth.

(Oh and I wouldn’t accept a “verbal” acknowledgement that my job is safe. Get your concerns down in writing).

Great advice. Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
Emyrave Sun 07-Jun-20 22:48:48

Apparently so. They expect there will be enough work to do. That makes me uncomfortable in itself!

OP’s posts: |
EveryDayIsADuvetDay Sun 07-Jun-20 22:48:51

when your mat cover ends, he won't have any employment protection as he'll have been there less than two years.

I looked into equal pay legislation a couple of years ago for myself. The organisation got rid of me - v painful, but in retrospect a well paid escape. You can only back claim to when the unequal pay related to gender started; as I'd highlighted it when I saw the offer letter, there wasn't a great deal to 'claim'.
Your best bet is to leave it, but once you're back and his position is resolved, use your 'covers' salary as your starting point on salary negotiation - but do have a chat with ACAS or your union while you're on mat leave.

Purplequalitystreet Sun 07-Jun-20 22:51:51

I have the same issue OP. They're on abput 6 grand more. My problem is that I'm not supposed to know what my replacement is on. I found it out through the grapevine so can't argue without dropping colleagues in it. It's rubbish and you have my sympathy.

Emyrave Sun 07-Jun-20 22:58:53

Thank you it’s good to know it’s not just me but obviously NOT good if you know what I mean. I’m sorry. That’s really hard that you cannot say anything! As if you didn’t already have enough to worry about

OP’s posts: |
Emyrave Sun 07-Jun-20 23:01:14

EveryDayIsADuvetDay

when your mat cover ends, he won't have any employment protection as he'll have been there less than two years.

I looked into equal pay legislation a couple of years ago for myself. The organisation got rid of me - v painful, but in retrospect a well paid escape. You can only back claim to when the unequal pay related to gender started; as I'd highlighted it when I saw the offer letter, there wasn't a great deal to 'claim'.
Your best bet is to leave it, but once you're back and his position is resolved, use your 'covers' salary as your starting point on salary negotiation - but do have a chat with ACAS or your union while you're on mat leave.

Thanks this is really helpful- thanks for sharing your experience w/me. It could end up being a good thing maybe.

OP’s posts: |
BumbleBeee69 Sun 07-Jun-20 23:26:01

I'm confused.... hmm

How can a male colleague working UNDER you.. be paid £10K more? He has been approved and offered a permanent contract based on the email OP has seen. confused

can someone explain how that is not gender pay discrimination ?

EveryDayIsADuvetDay Sun 07-Jun-20 23:28:50

I forgot to add, I got pro bono advice from an employment lawyer recommended by an HR specialist I'd worked with - most will have a no-strings chat with you at the outset.
You may also have recourse to legal employment advice through your home insurance if you took that option, or an employee assistance scheme if your employer has one - they do operate confidentially.

Earlybirdey Sun 07-Jun-20 23:29:48

Did you negotiate when you joined as he has evidently done? In a previous job I earnt £8k more than my male counterpart for the same job with less experience, because I negotiated before accepting the offer. Make sure you do when you go back.

EveryDayIsADuvetDay Sun 07-Jun-20 23:36:24

@BumbleBeee69 - it is gender pay discrimination, but as I've explained above, as far as I'm aware from my own experience, the back claim is negligible under current legislation.
The Mat cover will be doing the OP's role for the next few months, not working under her.
I doubt the OP wants the stress of a tribunal now - but hopefully will have time to get legal advice while she is away from the workplace.

WineIsMyMainVice Sun 07-Jun-20 23:47:10

It depends what you want here. Others have advised not to say anything yet but I would advise differently. If you raise it now and are given a pay increase your pension contributions will reflect this, as will your annual leave and bank holidays accrued during maternity leave. You could negotiate a return to work bonus?
Good luck and congratulations on your new arrival

LouHotel Sun 07-Jun-20 23:52:36

Raise now OP, don’t let it fester and hang over your maternity. Keep it non emotional and not about how you feel.

This is about facts, you have been told you will be senior to him and he is on X, therefore you are worth Z. I wouldn’t raise as gender discrimination per say as he’s negotiated but i would imply it in response.

BumbleBeee69 Mon 08-Jun-20 00:00:40

@BumbleBeee69 - it is gender pay discrimination, but as I've explained above, as far as I'm aware from my own experience, the back claim is negligible under current legislation.
The Mat cover will be doing the OP's role for the next few months, not working under her.
I doubt the OP wants the stress of a tribunal now - but hopefully will have time to get legal advice while she is away from the workplace.

aahh okay I understand now.. and yes of course she doesn't need the additional stress right now.. thank you flowers

Areyouactuallyseriousrightnow Mon 08-Jun-20 00:20:47

Aside from the money (which is a kick in the teeth but should demonstrate to you that you can certainly ask for more) you really need better assurances that the permanent role he is being recruited into, is completely distinct from yours, and what the structure will be upon your return. Speaking from (very similar) experience.

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