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My job has been changed beyond recognition whilst I'm on mat leave. Thinking of using this to argue for part time.

(5 Posts)
nicnac73 Mon 29-Aug-11 14:48:06

I am 6 weeks post partum, a Head of Dept reporting directly to CEO. This is my second baby and I've been with the company 3 years. My boss has made loads of crass statements and casual discrimination towards me since I came back off my first mat leave. Eg I took 4.5 months and he said ' I must have undernourished my baby'.

This time he was pushing me to come back to work after 4 weeks! I indicated that I would take the same amount of time off as last time. He suggested paying me full pay for my mat leave because he believed I was aware that he was paying a man with same job title more than me. I do 80% of the work, bloke does 20%. I did not know until he told me, although I suspected. He asked if I was happy to have the full pay for the mat leave rather than pay rise which he wasn't really offering and said he was sorry he couldn't pay me the same as bloke. The continuous cash flow was too tempting not to accept and it didn't really seem like I was being given a choice. I have nothing in writing but have received 2 pay cheques now at the full amount but I am constantly worried he just won't pay so nervous about rocking the boat but furious that I am being treated so badly and also stressed out when I should be enjoying my mat leave. I was v.ill last time and really wanted to enjoy this time which I was doing until...

...At 4 weeks post partum he called to say that they were restructuring the team and he wanted to give a big part of my role to the guy and another part of it to another woman who has joined with a slightly different job title to mine (a job title that did not previously exist in our company). I knew she was coming to take part of my role (about 20%) but now boss wants to give her more of my line management responsibility. She joined last week and it seems she is doing my job and I don't understand how my role fits in and it seems I am left with a demotion back to the level that I was at previously eg a divisional manager rather than a Head of whole Dept.

I am considering lots of options at the moment.

One is use this as leverage to get them to agree to part time, possibly even on the same pay and Ts and Cs given that they are clearly not leaving the same job open for me. Any advice on this is really welcome particularly when should I start to pursue it? Worried as I have no contractual entitlement to the enhanced mat pay (guilt money) he could just not pay it.

It is obvious he wanted to make this restructure permanent as he presented it as such on the phone and I had to say 'I am sure you mean this is temporary until I return'. HR must have got wind of it as he has no clue about UK employment law and they sent me an official letter saying the move to give one dept to the guy is temporary but not mentioning the other move where they give one of my depts to the new woman. I have written to ask for clarification.

I am going to see an employment lawyer and pretty sure I have a good case against them should the worst come to the worst. I am due to go back 1st Dec (after 4.5 months off) but know I need to get a resolution sorted that I am happy with before I go back. Boss agreed on the phone that it was temporary arrangement and we would review when I get back but I think I have the right to know what my role will be before I go back? Should I ask for a meeting and if so when?

Would going for the part time option weaken my case if I eventually had to go for sexual discrimination compensation in that I had indicated I might be agreeable to the demotion under certain conditions. I would essentially be compromising with them in role.

Alternatively could I try to negotiate to financially compromise with them in role and get some kind of financial compensation for the down grade and carry on doing the lesser role but I think that would be soul sapping to be away from kiddies full time and be in a career that is going backwards. Feel really hurt and betrayed by employer.

Sorry for awfully long post but these things are always really complicated. If anyone has been patient enough to get to the end wold welcome any advice.

MrsCog Mon 29-Aug-11 18:02:45

Hi, sorry I can't help but bumping for you in the hope that someone who can help will see it this time!

nicnac73 Mon 29-Aug-11 21:09:02

yes I suppose bank holiday not best time to post...

nicnac73 Wed 31-Aug-11 09:56:24

Flowery are you there? Could you help me? Sorry post is so long winded.

glimmer Fri 02-Sep-11 20:32:12

I am not help with the legal questions you pose, but do you know what you want: return to your job FT or go part-time? I think once you have the figured out, it will be easier for you to chose a route.

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