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Is this discrimination?

(24 Posts)
TooTiredForThisShit Wed 12-Feb-14 23:42:45

Having ongoing issues with employer and I'm so pissed off!

I'm due to start maternity leave soon and I've been told that for the last four weeks at work, I will be put on report. Basically it means that a superior has to approve anything I do, no matter how small. Every single thing I enter into the system has to be ok'd by a manager which is time consuming and therefore means I will most likely lose money as we work on commission. This involves calling around other offices until a manager is free to authorise my action and I know from other people it is right pain in the arse.

This is normally reserved for people undergoing disciplinary action or if a large mistake has been made and they feel you need monitoring.

Bearing in mind I am a longstanding member of staff and have made no mistakes, can they do this just because I am due to go on mat leave?
I think their reasoning is they want to make sure everything is correct before I leave, but there are other ways this can be done.
As far as I am aware, no to their colleagues I other offices have had this, I think it is just my manager who is implementing it. We normally get on but she is very 'company minded'

AnythingNotEverything Thu 13-Feb-14 00:00:09

Are you being treated unfavourably because of your pregnancy? If so, that sounds like discrimination.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 13-Feb-14 00:02:19

Well i'd like to see if it was company policy and practised across the board for starters! Doesnt sound right to me.

Clobbered Thu 13-Feb-14 00:05:39

Sounds like a load of cobblers. Talk to HR?

TooTiredForThisShit Thu 13-Feb-14 00:06:18

Yes I would say it is unfavourable, and only being implemented as I am pregnant and therefore taking mat leave. And no, there is no company policy for this and no other pregnant women at the company have had it.
Looks like I'll need to take it up with HR

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 13-Feb-14 00:10:36

I would also want it to be done for all planned absences. Their 'defence' that they want to make sure everything is done right before you go (presumably for whoever will be taking over your job) is fine if they also do it for people going on annual leave, going in for surgery, going on out of office courses etc.

monicalewinski Thu 13-Feb-14 00:14:06

What happens when people are leaving the company permanently? Are they put on report for their notice period? I suspect not!

I would definitely take this up with HR tbh.

monicalewinski Thu 13-Feb-14 00:15:16

X-post with SillyBilly, sorry!

flowery Thu 13-Feb-14 09:36:41

"I think their reasoning is they want to make sure everything is correct before I leave"

Has your manager not clearly told you what her reasoning is? You shouldn't have to guess. Have you spoken to your manager about it, asked why it's being done, said you are feeling as though you are being penalised as you know this normally happens with performance concerns, and explored other ways of achieving whatever it is she wants to achieve?

Elletorro Thu 13-Feb-14 09:41:23

Pregnancy related discrimination. If the policy is only for pregnant employees then it is direct discrimination and if it is for other situations very likely to be indirect discrimination.

Also probable equal pay claim. Technically a breach of contract. If you earn less commission due to policy that impacts on female earnings then you are entitled to the amount that someone (male) in same job earns when not subject to the policy.

I would suggest s grievance and explain that you are looking to be remunerated equally to someone who does not have the restrictions. If no joy then a letter before claim for the difference; likely they would pay up rather than risk going to tribunal.

flowery Thu 13-Feb-14 09:49:00

I think I must be reading a different thread to you Elletorro!

Why would it be indirect discrimination when used for other reasons?
Why on earth would it be an equal pay claim?
Why is it a breach of contract? Have you seen the OPs contract?

TooTiredForThisShit Thu 13-Feb-14 20:10:31

Many thanks for all your input. There is some serious back peddaling going on as my manager has said that this is not company policy, just her personal policy... I have put my concerns forward and am waiting to hear what she says.

Elletorro Thu 13-Feb-14 23:28:01

A policy or practice that is applied across workforce but disproportionately negatively affects a protected group (eg pregnant women) is indirect discrimination. We don't know if it's directed only at op or is for all emp'ees who are going to be out of contact for significant period of time

If a pay policy disprop affects women's pay when compared to men doing same/ similar/ equal value job then it's an equal pay issue. All employment contracts in the eu have an implied equality term. Hence breach of contract. V nasty claim for an employer to deal with, expensive and technical. Scares hr types

Elletorro Thu 13-Feb-14 23:29:08

Sorry don't intend to insult any hr people

flowery Fri 14-Feb-14 06:33:39

Yep, loads of stuff there based on absolutely nothing in the OP at all...

Elletorro Fri 14-Feb-14 07:46:43

You are right flowery but that is because op doesn't know reasoning of,a agreement.

We have management adopting a policy or practice which disadvantages pregnant women. Whether directly aimed at pregnant women we still do not know because op does not know. We see it is a personal policy but not the reason for it. If we knew it is due to pregnancy then easy to say that it is direct discrim but we don't know this. So it can be direct or indirect pregnancy discrimination at this stage.

Op is concerned that she is likely to be unable to earn commission due to policy. This is the un intended consequence of the policy.

A man would not be subjected to the pay detriment of this policy/ a significantly smaller percentage are affected...( don't have statistics but very likely )Thus equal pay and implied equality clause comes into play making the breach of contract. We don't need to see the contract because equality clause is implied into all contracts by statute.

Elletorro Fri 14-Feb-14 07:47:29

Not agreement... Management

flowery Fri 14-Feb-14 08:03:55

All we know from the OP is that her manager (ie not necessarily company policy) wants to monitor her work for the last 4 weeks of her time at work, something which the OP thinks is usually done for people whose performance has raised concerns. That's it. That's all we know. Where you get all that from based purely on that information beats me.

Elletorro Fri 14-Feb-14 09:18:07

We know that op is concerned that policy will affect pay and from her description of how it impacts on productivity this seems likely. She is therefore likely to suffer a detriment due to policy.

We know that she is due to start mat leave and there is suspicion that mat leave is connected to the decision to implement policy - we don't know managements reasoning here, fair enough. But discrimination is a possibility. Like I said if it's imposed due to her pregnancy then it's discrim. If not then indirect discrim is possible.

We know that op is entitled to equality and not to be subject to a policy which negatively impacts on her pay and which disproportionally affects women. Equal pay issues often follow indirectly discriminatory policy and practices as well as direct discrim.

I'm following the op's lead with regard to her view of how monitoring work affects commission.

flowery Fri 14-Feb-14 10:24:51

Well, I think your advice, particularly in your first post, was irresponsible. But there we go, let's agree to disagree.

Minnieisthedevilmouse Fri 14-Feb-14 10:47:28

I suspect the manager thought they were being clever. Had a bright idea and didn't discuss with anyone above or official.

All the best work fuck ups start that way, one bright person with a really stupid idea.

If hr any good they are about to be brought up short!

flowery Fri 14-Feb-14 11:21:57

Exactly Minnie.

Even the OP thought it was probably just to make sure everything is correct before she leaves, and presumably to make sure the manager knows exactly what she does so her role can be properly covered.

No need to go bonkers over it, just iron it out, which it sounds like is happening already as the manager has realised it's not the best way of achieving whatever her aim was.

Elletorro Fri 14-Feb-14 15:46:18

Not irresponsible to make a grievance.Gives employer opportunity to sort out problem. Op can't be mistreated coz she's raised it. She's protected.

Luckily op seems to have sorted it informally. So no need to go any further.

A letter before action takes it over the management's heads and generally gets it resolved v quickly. Generally within 2 months. Speedy, effective and minimum fuss. V easy to write- there are letters to copy all over the internet.

flowery Sat 15-Feb-14 07:53:54

I never said it would be irresponsible of the OP to raise a grievance (although I think leaping in too quickly with one is often unwise), I said I thought your post giving advice was irresponsible.

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