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Graduated Elderberries (numero 3)

(1000 Posts)
BraveLilBear Tue 09-Apr-13 10:26:20

Welcome back oh graduated elderberries. Let us discuss the delights of being over-30 first-timers with google obsessions grin

janey1234 Tue 09-Apr-13 13:10:09

Oh hazle that looks bloody gorgeous. Bit different to pikey East London, where I live...

cavort you really made me laugh re meeting the queen. I'm assuming she'll want to meet all our new offspring, right? And not sure second hand babygrows or primark value pack sleepsuits will be appropriate. Better get outfit picking soon!

janey1234 Tue 09-Apr-13 13:35:45

Meanwhile I'm having a shocking day work-wise. A colleague just had an informal chat with me about the new restructure my boss told them he'd told me weeks ago. In short he hadn't. It goes live in around 8 weeks, just as I leave work. On the organogram I have dropped down a level to the be on the same line as people below me on the current organogram, and report into someone between me and my current boss. Loads of my responsibilities are changing, and I will now look after parts of people's jobs from two levels below me currently (one on new organogram). Given when my boss spoke to me three weeks ago about the restructure being a 'difficult conversation legally' but he said that he didn't want to give me a massive job, as I'm about to disappear for a year. I am thoroughly pissed off. Basically it seems that I'm getting a shit job in the restructure, and looks like I'm being demoted, because I'm pregnant. I'm furious as I've put is SO many years here and SO many hours above and beyond what I'm paid for, and for what?
I know I have rights, but I don't even know what I would get for constructive dismissal money wise, but I don't want to go for it as I need paying for the next 12 months, and I like the fact I have 12 years service behind me should they ever want to make me redundant. I just fear it will happen when I'm off as I will be overpaid for my role. And I want - and need - a bloody job to come back to!!

Purplemonster Tue 09-Apr-13 13:40:21

Shit Janey, that stinks!

HazleNutt Tue 09-Apr-13 14:00:18

Janey you genuinely believe it's because you're pregnant? It does sound like it, considering the "legally difficult" remark.
Honestly, I would talk to the boss, this is discrimination, pure and simple. Yes, you'll be away for a while, so what - not like you will lose all your skills and experience during this year. So they better have a good and not maternity leave related justification for this.

Sorry don't know English employment law that well, but I would hope they are not able to get rid of you while you're on mat leave?

janey1234 Tue 09-Apr-13 14:17:29

They can make you redundant, but the redundancy can't due to due to me being pregnant IYSWIM. But if they've managed me out of the job, by taking all my responsibilities away, I guess they can do it - say there isn't a role for me and therefore make me redundant (subject to usual laws of consultation and trying to find another role internally for me).
I'm waiting for him to bother to tell me all this. To be fair I wasn't in yesterday due to my Nan, but he told my colleague he'd talked me through it a couple of weeks ago. When he does talk to be I might be quite frank. Just hope that I don't have any hormone-driven sodding tears!

BraveLilBear Tue 09-Apr-13 14:30:01

Blimey Janey that's awful - and legally very dodgy. And obviously he knows that.

I thought that if any restructure involves changing roles and certainly levels they have to re-interview people (which would therefore leave you able to apply fpr a same-level job now). I'm pretty certain they won't be able to reduce your salary though, even if effectively being demoted.

Is there a chance that this has been misunderstood by your colleague who told you about it? Definitely arrange a meeting with him ASAP - and take a colleague/Union rep/HR rep with you if possible. A witness really wouldn't hurt...

Cavort Tue 09-Apr-13 14:39:08

Oh Janey, that is totally shit news.

It sounds to me like your boss is a bastard employers are skating on very thin ice legally to be doing this while you're pregnant. I'm no expert in employment law but I know you can make things very difficult for them, ie, take maternity leave at 29 weeks (before they have chance to restructure and take any responsibilities away), then they have to keep exactly the same job for you if you return within 6 months and have to offer an equivalent job on the same scale if you return within a year.

Maybe you could post on MN in Legal Matters for advice? There are bound to be some employement law solicitors hanging around.

janey1234 Tue 09-Apr-13 14:56:03

Good plan cavort - I might wait for the conversation (don't want to drop the colleague in it who told me!) and ask for advice. I also have a staff benefit of a legal helpline through work, could call and ask them. I just worry as so many employment tribunals are capped, and (luckily for me I guess) they don't in any way make up for my usual salary.

brave they won't touch salary I'm sure, just feel it makes me more vulnerable to redundancy in the future.

I guess I could accept a less senior job for the same money - I'm sure lots of people would like that - but then I remember how fucking hard I've worked to get to where I am, and it's certainly a bitter pill to swallow....

HazleNutt Tue 09-Apr-13 15:13:34

You should not be pushed on "mummy-track" unless you yourself want to! I agree, get some advice. Even if you have no intention to take any legal action, it's good to know your rights and let the employer know you do.

janey1234 Tue 09-Apr-13 15:22:32

Agreed hazle. I might decide I want a plodding job and give up pursuing promotions, but I think that should be up to ME and not them. Right now I can't imagine ever thinking that yes, I'm happy in my job, and have no intention of striving for the next step up.

Purplemonster Tue 09-Apr-13 16:14:37

I really feel for you Janey, it's just not the kind if thing you need to be worrying about right now, I've a strong feeling my entire team will be made redundant in the next year or so but it's not such a blow for me as it wouldn't seem as personal and I'm not a fan of my job anyway. We've already been through restructure after restructure and pay freezes etc so I do know how shit it can be. Hope you get some clarity on the situation soon.

That aside, I have a confession to make. I did a bad thing, not the sort of thing I would normally condone at all but it did make me chortle. I picked the most interesting knitted creation from my bag of eBay goodies and I...well I...I sort of dressed the kitten in it <shamefaced but sniggering> so I took a hasty picture and put in on my profile so you could all have a laugh as well. For her part, little cat took it quite stoically whereas evil cat would have left me looking like a Bond villain with an eye patch and metal hook where my fingers used to live grin wicked wicked cat Mummy, she does seem completely unbothered by this indignity and I have to say she doesn't show off that dress in all it's true glory as it rather suits her! (It looks much worse in real life)

janey1234 Tue 09-Apr-13 16:31:51

Purple - that is AWESOME and has totally cheered me up smile

Purplemonster Tue 09-Apr-13 16:32:23

Glad to be of service wink

Cavort Tue 09-Apr-13 16:39:53

Aww, I want a cat! That photo is so cute!

I am allergic to some cats though (no idea why some and not others) and DH hates cats with a passion so I can't see us getting one any time soon although if I could guarantee I wouldn't allergic to it I would just get one and DH would just have to put up with it. I would happily trade my good-for-nothing escape artist fence-ruining dog for one at the moment!

HazleNutt Tue 09-Apr-13 16:48:46

Oh what a good idea! Only trouble is that the one cat out of 3 I could actually dress without losing any body parts is about the size of an 1-year old baby, so newborn stuff probably would not fit.

BraveLilBear Tue 09-Apr-13 16:49:55

Cat+hamsters= Just a cat.

Will wait til there is nocat+nohamsters=cat

Even if kitty is cute wink

HazleNutt Tue 09-Apr-13 16:55:05

Cavort Siberian Forest Cats are supposed to be suitable for many people with cat allregies. Just saying..

Purplemonster Tue 09-Apr-13 17:02:50

Imagine one of those but tortoiseshell and that's a lot like what evil cat looks like, big, fluffy and petulant. And if you try to brush her bit fat fluffy ass she bites you.

Purplemonster Tue 09-Apr-13 17:10:19

Oh and Cavort, my OH claimed to hate cats as well but I was a package deal, he came with a surly teenage boy as part of the deal and I came with a mental dog and an evil cat. He hates cats so much he then let me get a kitten and he hates her so much that she regularly curls up on his knee and falls asleep and he lets her sleep under the duvet with us most nights. This supposed hatred that men have of cats seems to be remarkably easy to bypass wink

HazleNutt Tue 09-Apr-13 17:25:09

How appropriate - just read someone on a baby clothes thread saying that before buying anything, imagine dressing a cat in it. Meaning that if it's too complicated to get on a cat, it will be the same with a baby and it's probably not a good thing to buy.

Hm do you think it would be weird to get some diapers and practise changing them on cats as well? grin

Purplemonster Tue 09-Apr-13 17:42:34

Weird...nah not really, difficult? Definitely! Little cat has a habit of wrapping herself around you and enthusiastically gnawing on your arm while trying to disembowel you with her back legs when you tip her on her back. Still, could be good practice I suppose, a baby wriggling a little bit would seem tame in comparison!
So maybe by these criteria I should keep the sparkly red knitted dress? It was very easy to get on and off a cat, I'm not sure what it says for sleep suits though with all those poppers, even little cat wouldn't stand for that kind of treatment!
Nappies seem fairly straight forward from the demonstrations I've had to sit though a gazillion times but then that's on a doll not a cat so maybe it's more difficult on something that moves.

HazleNutt Tue 09-Apr-13 18:15:35

I put a few more photos of the zoo on my profile.

Alexandra6 Tue 09-Apr-13 19:32:37

Just catching up (had a bit of a scare last night and agonising stomach pains so was catching up on sleep and had to take the day off work, the pains have eased off now thank god) - purple I love your cat in that outfit, that's brilliant and cheered me up too! grin at practicing diaper changing on cats, I can imagine my cats unimpressed expression if I tried that! She tends to walk around with an 'I'm so superior and above all this' look on her face at the best of times!

janey I know we've spoken about it IRL but I liked cavorts suggestion of considering doing something like taking mat leave early before the restructure can happen.

Alexandra6 Tue 09-Apr-13 19:34:24

Ps hazle your dogs are gorgeous, are they golden retrievers? Always wanted one of those.

Cavort Tue 09-Apr-13 19:37:06

To all you dog owners, how long did your dog stay a loony puppy for before they calmed down into nice adult dogs? Our dog is nearly 9 months old and is a real handful at the moment. I assume it is the dog equivalent of the terrible twos because he's definitely become more boisterous then he used to be. I just walked him to my Dad's where my Step-Sis, BIL and their two kids are staying and he was so over-excited I couldn't even let him in the house because he was running around knocking the kids over.

Hazle your animals are all so cute! [pathetic gushing emoticon]

Siberian Forest Cat you say? Hmm, interesting....

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