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Maternity contract and access to email

(55 Posts)
iamthenewgirl Thu 13-Nov-14 00:11:14

I started a new job this week which is a maternity contract.

It's a busy job and the woman I am covering won't give me access to her email. She seems to think she has given me everything I need and I can ring her if there is anything I don't have as she will have her laptop at home and will email me anything. I'm not exactly sure how she is going to do this when she is in labour/has a screaming baby in tow!

It's a really busy PA role and I know i will need to refer to things to double check email trails/contexts and how she has approached things previously. She is quite adamant that I don't need access.

Any suggestions as to how I approach this? I am sweating the small stuff a bit at the moment...

nightswift Thu 13-Nov-14 00:23:46

Let your mutual boss make the call on this.

iamthenewgirl Thu 13-Nov-14 00:32:49

I am going to broach it with her again before she goes on leave. I just feel that if she say no and then I ask the boss she will have the raging hump with me. I don't want to piss her off but I know for a fact I will need to refer back to stuff.

DH said to wait until I actually need to find something then request it

Why are people so odd?

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 13-Nov-14 00:38:20

I wouldn't have let anyone have access to my email either unless it was in my contract that my boss had access , & them is spend a lot of time wiping everything.

iamthenewgirl Thu 13-Nov-14 00:45:00

Why not? Your mailbox is company property. There shouldn't be anything on there you need to hide.

I've contracted a lot and have never had this before.

Maybe I will wait until she goes on leave.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 13-Nov-14 00:50:51

Technically speaking yes. But there is also a lot of personal stuff on there.

zerotolerancezone Thu 13-Nov-14 00:52:33

I wouldn't give you access either and I've never heard of anyone doing that. Of course PAs have access to the boxes of whoever it is they're looking after but no one else.

You'll just have to do what everyone who covers maternity or starts a new job does - look at the handover, ask questions, use your initiative and occasionally wing it.

I wouldn't push this - you'll risk looking odd.

zerotolerancezone Thu 13-Nov-14 00:53:57

Oh I've just seen you say they're odd! grin I'm afraid you're the odd one.

And I would be beyond livid if someone waited for me to leave before sneakily getting access somehow.

iamthenewgirl Thu 13-Nov-14 00:56:51

I always work on the premise that I could be run over by a bus so there is nothing on my email I would want/need to hide.

I also worked for a boss who had access to staff mailboxes without their knowledge. Nothing on company email is private. You have been warned!

iamthenewgirl Thu 13-Nov-14 01:01:32

I'm not sneaky. I'm trying to do a professional job but it would seem that people have stuff on company email that they want to hide. I would say that is more sneaky, isn't it?

zerotolerancezone Thu 13-Nov-14 01:01:36

Yes, well some managers respect their staff and don't feel the need to spy on them. Some organisations expect that with the give they get from their staff, there is also take, and sometimes we use email for personal stuff.

But thanks for THE WARNING.

zerotolerancezone Thu 13-Nov-14 01:03:47

Sorry I don't know why that was in caps.

Wanting to keep your email private is not sneaky, no. I don't share my passwords or email with anyone, ever. Not sneaky, it's just mine.

iamthenewgirl Thu 13-Nov-14 01:16:32

The sad thing is, you'd have thought that boss trusted and respected his staff too. Big name, well known company - things are not always what they appear.

I used to use email for personal stuff too. I don't now.

iamthenewgirl Thu 13-Nov-14 01:22:03

Seriously, it's not yours zero. Not if you get ill and signed off work.

I know a girl who got signed off a few years ago. Her inbox was cringeworthy. Just as well she never came back really. We all saw her in a bit of a different light after that. Not saying that you're on a par with her!

Whenwillwe3meetagain Thu 13-Nov-14 04:03:19

I'm on mat leave and my cover has access to my inbox in case she needs to find something or to check my messages sporadically. I'm on maternity leave and not expected to be checking or responding to messages.

Email is company property and I think it's naive to use it for personal emails if you want to keep things private. I'm in HR and I've seen things go wrong for people when they have affairs over work email for example and they can be done for abuse of systems etc.

Bumpandbaby2014 Thu 13-Nov-14 04:47:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BikeRunSki Thu 13-Nov-14 06:25:08

I used to Jobshare, and my Jobshare partner and I had proxy access to each other's email. There is nothing in my email I wouldn't have wanted anyone to see.

But I was sitting with my line manager recently with his Inbox open, and most of his email was from websites, shops and uvs to do with his favourite sport. I was a bit hmm, since he couldn't find the important work related one I'd sent him.

Captainweasel Thu 13-Nov-14 07:06:35

I wouldn't let anyone have access to my mailbox. I keep personal work related emails there - appraisals, pay training etc.

iamthenewgirl Thu 13-Nov-14 07:10:33

Maybe I should just ring her several times a day requesting information and docs. Then when I leave email her the things she'll need and delete the rest. wink

ShowMeTheWonder Thu 13-Nov-14 07:18:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YonicScrewdriver Thu 13-Nov-14 07:27:23

You are being unreasonable. As others have said, there may be emails about her pay, the pay of others, disciplinary matters etc.

People will know you are covering someone else and won't expect you to have a full knowledge of every nuance of her stuff. If you really need something when she's gone, IT can dig it out for you, I expect.

YonicScrewdriver Thu 13-Nov-14 07:28:09

And many policies acknowledge "limited personal use" of email is allowed.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Thu 13-Nov-14 07:34:10

In my work it is a disciplinary to share passwords. Therefore my Maternity Cover had her own email account and didnt get access to mine.

Your Handover period surely must have covered where she was up to in terms of projects etc?

Drquin Thu 13-Nov-14 07:40:09

Interesting one ....

I would have agreed the email address is "company property" and depending on company policy, there should be limited or no personal information therein.
But, that doesn't mean you'd want to give access to someone else.
I'd expect there to be private-work emails which I wouldn't want a replacement to have access to e.g. Re my pay /appraisal / career. Although yes IT always have access, I think senders send emails assuming it's only folk on the address list who'll see it - not everyone who may ever replace the recipients.

If the handover is thorough, you should get what you need.

MsBug Thu 13-Nov-14 07:42:19

I didn't give my maternity cover access to my email, I just set an out of office saying that I was on mat leave and giving the name of my replacement.

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