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Maternity leave demotion...

(11 Posts)
PandaMoanyMum Thu 13-Oct-11 22:36:05

I'll try and make this brief...

I am currently on maternity leave and have just heard from a friend and colleague that she has been made the manager of my department. I'm pleased for her because she's a good girl but I'm a little peeved as essentially she has been given my job whilst I'm on maternity leave. I had issues with my superiors before I began my mat leave regarding my official job title and pay and these issues were never fully resolved before I left. I did feel my pregnancy had a lot to do with their procrastinating and wrote a letter of grievance about 6 weeks before my leave started asking for a prompt response which arrived the day after my leave began. Their reply was really weak but they did invite me to respond if I wasn't satisfied but I didn't as I was having a baby!

Basically, in my absence, my trainee has been given my job and the official management title and a payrise which I was fighting so hard for. She is now doing exactly the same role that I was doing but she has the official title that I didn't have. I know she threatened to quit after my leave had begun and they hadn't found maternity cover for me so to appease her they gave her my job instead. They are still understaffed and struggling to recruit. How am I supposed to go back now with my trainee as my boss?!?!

I know my company and they tend to assume people on maternity leave have left and won't be returning. I'm not even sure I wanted to go back as I hated the company but I do feel my hand has been forced. I have effectively been demoted whilst on maternity leave.

Can anyone advise me on what my position is legally? Can they do this?

Sorry of this is garbled. I'm fuming!!

Grevling Thu 13-Oct-11 23:54:04

How long have you been off? You said it's your job though your job title was never sorted out. Did you have a manager -> employee relationship or were you another employee training another.

PandaMoanyMum Fri 14-Oct-11 00:13:53

I've been off since May. I was definitely her senior and my job title did reflect that.

It's a very odd situation to be honest and I don't think she's realised that it might be awkward. It's not her fault - My company are just bastards. i don't think anyone has even considered I might return even though i have said I would

I may be wrong but I think they're on shaky ground legally by officially promoting her while I'm on mat leave. She is now doing EXACTLY the same job that I was doing only she has an official title and more money.

The question is what would I do when I go back?! Someone else is doing what I was doing...

KatieMorticiaton Fri 14-Oct-11 02:28:52

Did they offer you the opportunity to apply for the job? If not you are probably right they are on shaky ground.

You need to decide if you want to go back or not. Your decision will effect how you should play this.

NatashaBee Fri 14-Oct-11 02:36:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LoveBeingAWitch Fri 14-Oct-11 02:43:19

Natashabee - thinks it more that you can't be any worse off ie same pay, same level, similar work ie no less favourable.

Op I am confused you say she got a title and more money. So it's your job that you were doing but you hadn't been given the title or pay rise, is that correct?

When I was off my mat cover was made perm, I did start to think I was gonna have problems when I returned, but no they'd just decided to increase the management team. I went back as before.

PandaMoanyMum Fri 14-Oct-11 08:45:17

Thanks for the replies. It is quite a complicated one.

I worked in a very small team of people. There were originally 4 of us but since I left there has only been 3 of them with this girl taking on the management role I was doing. She will have been doing it for 9 months when I return and they can't just ask her to stop and give me all of the responsibilities I am used to.

I'm not sure I want to go back but do feel I should have the option to return to what I was doing.

As I said before i know they're banking on me not returning so they probably don't see this as an issue. I'm considering contacting them to discuss returning and see what they have to say about the situation. Just wanted to make sure I know where I stand before I go ahead and speak to them...

bintofbohemia Fri 14-Oct-11 08:51:07

This happened to me - just marking my place and I'll post properly later...

KatieMorticiaton Fri 14-Oct-11 08:57:05

How do you know it's a permanent change? Is it possible they have given her additional responsibility and money until you return? Because there's nothing wrong with that. There is if it's a permanent job and you've been deprived of the opportunity to apply because of your maternity leave.

PandaMoanyMum Fri 14-Oct-11 09:07:45

As far as I am aware she has the job permanently. It is a little hard to know exactly which is why I'm considering contacting them to see what their response will be.

I did hate it and would rather not go back but my DH is self employed and it's looking like I will need to return to the grindstone.

KatieMortician Fri 14-Oct-11 10:27:02

Ok so it's possible that they are just giving her some extra money for the extra responsibility and workload.

I think contacting your employer to discuss your return to work and booking in some Keeping In Touch days can't hurt. You can then casually mention that you are aware XXXX has been acting as manager in your absence and whether they are going to be making a permanent manager position, in which case you would like to apply for it.

If you're going back you need to keep things on good terms. If there have made given her a permanent management role then you need to find out what's happening with your role. If they are still wanting you to manage her and the rest of the team then the only issue is negotiating the extra pay. If they have actually promoted her above you without offering you the chance to apply for the job then you need to take some action but you can do that while still in your job.

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