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Is this unfair?

(5 Posts)
Jaufre Mon 14-Oct-13 14:14:41

Sorry this is a bit long

I work in a medium size company, the head office is outside of the UK. In spring 2012, I complained to the boss of my department that I was one job grade lower than I should be, ie I was level 3, should be a level 4. My job title on paper is manager of one particular area. In reality, and I explained this to him, I also managed 2 or 3 other areas and did a lot of specialised work besides. One of these extra areas meant I had a lot of responsibility within the team & all taken together meant that I should be on level 4. (responsibilities + specialisations both count towards this in our company.) He didn’t respond particularly negatively or positively, rather in a ‘leave it with me..’ way.

At the time I told him we were in a bit of flux, things have changed as the company was growing and some work which was similar to that done in head office was being taken back there. As the UK ‘outpost’ we had been slightly differently organised to the head office.

About 6 weeks later I told them I was pregnant.

A few months after the original conversation I found out my job level had not been changed via an HR document. I asked for clarification and was told I was definitely not level 4 but would remain on 3. Apparently the managers above me and HR had decided this but forgot to let me know! At the time my manager told me verbally that I was level 4 and he had refused to give me this news, it was instead delivered by the departmental head (his boss) and HR.

I didn’t really feel like I was left with much else to say but, ‘well I disagree but looks like that’s the end of the discussion’.

Before I went on maternity leave the two main ‘extra’ functions I performed were centralised back to head office.

I went on maternity leave mid summer.

I have just returned after one full year mat leave and my job has been moved into a different department. This aligns with other people doing the same ‘on paper’ function as me in head office. My job is now definitely level 3. Besides the two functions which were removed before maternity leave, some of my specialisations are now done by other teams. I have a new manager who doesn’t realise that I did all this extra stuff before. The attitude of my colleagues is that I should be grateful I have all this extra ‘resource’ to get my job done properly.

I can see there is an argument to be had that this is all progress, how a company grows, obviously as we get more work I can’t continue to do what is essentially becoming more than one person’s work.

However I also feel that since I complained, my job has been cut down to match its on-paper description and level to align with this guy’s decision.

Please advise me, I have obviously been thinking about this too much!! Should I complain again, is it enough to start a grievance procedure?

To anticipate the question ‘what would you want from this’ I would like a job with an equal level of responsibility or some kind of admission of unfair treatment (not sure how they would do that practically).

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 14-Oct-13 18:37:38

Then I think you will have to apply for the next job at that level. I can't see anything other than the realisation that yes, you had been doing too much and then cutting your job to match the level. Which I can't see as being something to bring a grievance for.

Jaufre Mon 14-Oct-13 20:07:02

Thanks fbr for taking the time to read. I have been going over it so much that I can see both sides and have no idea what to think any more. Really need someone neutral to eyeball..

hermioneweasley Tue 15-Oct-13 10:09:17

A job evaluation scheme should be objective, and a senior manager should not be able to downgrade a role

But doing lots of things at the same level does not necessarily make you a higher grade - it depends on lots of factors.

If the other parts of your role were permanent aspects, there should have been some consultation with you before rescaling your role.

Is there an HR team you can speak to? It's very difficult to comment further without knowing details of your work and how the company is structured.

Jaufre Tue 15-Oct-13 11:59:34

Thanks Hermione, you've helped me clarify my thoughts a bit. There was no consultation. I think my impression of unfairness stems from finding out during the initial debate over 'level' that doing my primary role solely = level 3 but solely my secondary role = level 4 as it's considered more specialised.

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