Lodging a grievance relating to discrimination - how to go about it, advice needed(4 Posts)
I'm going to bulletpoint my issues here as it makes them easier to follow (and will also help me keep them organised). Sorry it's long!
- July 2010: my maternity leave ends however I don't immediately return to work as I am on sick leave following a complicated late mmc
- September 2010: I return to work. I ask to reduce my hours from 42 to 20 and this is approved by the senior manager for my team. The team is now being managed by a new direct manager.
- September/October 2010: I discover that the person who transfered in (from a different department) to cover my maternity leave is staying on the team indefinitely as there is a question over whether she was offered the position temporarily or permanently
- October/November 2010: the two of us are told that one of us will be getting sent back to the shop floor but no decision has been made as to which one of us it will be. The reason given is that one of us "belongs" to the office we're working from and that this office wants that resource back.
- November 2010: I have to take a days holiday when DS is sick with a vomiting bug as I can't get him looked after. The following week I come down with the same bug and am off one day sick. Then it snows and I am unable to get to work as buses in my (semi-rural) village are running up to 3 hours late and my mum (who I would ask for a lift from) can't get her car out, the local taxi company just laughed when I rang them. My dedication to the team is questioned after each of these three events.
- January 2011: I find out I am pregnant and tell my manager. Things subtly change, large projects are offered to other team members and I feel excluded from certain aspects of the job, teleconferences are held on my days off, etc. One girl on our (four person) team is given large chunks of work while I twiddle my thumbs.
- January 2011: I have really bad morning sickness and have to take a few (non-consecutive) days off when it's so bad I can't get my head out of a basin. My manager suggests I see my GP and get something prescribed (he won't give me anything) and the next time I have to take a day she reminds me that the business is looking to take one of us off the team and I'm making myself an easy target.
- February 2011: I am told that I am going back to the shopfloor and that the reason I was selected is because the business feels they can get more out of me than my maternity replacement, however I am being moved into the same role I was doing four years previously. It's the same pay and technically the same T&Cs, at least on paper but in reality is a lot more stressful, staff are monitored more closely, and it's more restrictive in terms of workload, breaks, even toilet breaks (the shopfloor is a call centre). I am very upset and explain I am not at all happy. I wish to consult the union and am lambasted for it by my manager. She does not understand my upset as "it's only a few months and then I'll be on maternity leave anyway", she also explains that I was "never" there anyway, and that she is disappointed in my reaction as I'm obviously not the girl she thought I was.
- February 2011: the day after the above meeting I wake up bleeding. A scan shows it's all okay but I am signed off with stress.
- March 2011: the move goes ahead in my absence, the first I know of this is when my new manager phones me. She keeps in touch regularly to see how I'm doing.
- May 2011: my old manager does my performance review. For the last several years I've been graded "top" and "suitable for promotion", this includes my maternity leave year when I was only at work for ten days of the assessment period - I was assessed based just on those ten days. My manager has marked me as "average" and states that if she had her way I would be marked "needs improvement" (basically one step away from being sacked). She says my work was of an exceptionally high standard but I was "never there". She says I was only at work for 60 days of the April-April assessment period, I point out that April 10-Sept 10 was maternity and pregnancy related sick, then I dropped to three days a week working, then I was signed off with stress for the remainder of the assessment period. She stated these absences were what decided her marking and the fact I was still off sick. She stated "off the record" that when they said she had to lose someone she was glad it was me and not one of her single girls as they will make the most of the career opportunities afforded to them. She tells me I'll get a copy of the performance review. I dispute it with her manager but the decision stands ("average" and no promotion recommendation). I still haven't received a copy of my performance review.
- July 2011: my current maternity leave starts.
- September 2011: my new manager phones to introduce herself. I have been moved to another new team in my absence and not informed until after the fact even though everyone else who was move was told beforehand and consulted about it. This is the first contact from work since my leave started.
ACAS have recommended I write a letter lodging a grievance with a view to going to tribunal but I'm not sure whether I'm just making something out of nothing. I have no idea who to address the letter to either, HR?
Does anyone have any thoughts or input or information they could give me on how to go about this?
Thanks in advance
What do you want work to do? What would you like to happen? There is no point in filing a grievance if you don't know what position you want to end up in.
Do you want to return to work?
Do you want to aim to get compromised out?
Do you want to stay at home with the DC?
I don't understand. Were you seconded off the shop floor before you went on maternity leave or did you have a permanent job there? What is the difference between the shop floor and other job? You same t&cs and pay but is there a significant difference? Do you have a contract for a specific job and location or is it a general grade or similar?
The performance rating should not have been reduced due to maternity leave or pregnancy related sickness. You could put in a grievance about the rating. I understand you've appealed but that decision doesn't sound like it sits well within the law. You can do it on mat leave and without risking making your position untenable.
If they are consulting others they should have consulted you and you could add that to your grievance.
You should send it to your line manager and cc HR unless your organisation has a different procedure.
Forget the tribunal. At the moment there's not enough there to be worth the hassle. You don't know your employer won't sort things out once you raise it. I doubt HR has been consulted about any of these iffy decisions and call centres usually have pretty hot HR teams due to the nature of the work.
When I applied for the back office job it was as a permanent move and I have the paperwork stating it (the original job application). I didn't sign a new contract as it was on the same pay grade so was done as a level transfer.
I don't want to return to work because I'm sick of their attitude towards working mothers and the "if your face fits" mentality. I know it sounds churlish but the main thing I want is for them to acknowledge that mistakes have been made so that they're not made again in future. I would happily take paid redundancy but doubt they'll offer it. I don't actually know the full name of my new line manager and she didn't give me a contact number, she rang just a few days after I came home from hospital after having DD and I commented that it wasn't really a good time and explained I was in the middle of feeding her. She didn't even realise I was on maternity leave so I don't even know what sort of handover has been done or what access she has to my file.
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