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Not given details of benefits window or invited to work Xmas do whilst on Mat leave. What to do?

(16 Posts)
feezap Sun 14-Dec-14 11:38:34

Before I left for my maternity leave I sent all my personal contact details to several colleagues, my bosses and HR. I specifically requested that I was notified about the benefits window and that they made sure I would have access. I also asked not to be left out of the Christmas do. I made it very clear that I would not have access to my work email and also made this very clear on my out of office.

Whilst doing a nightfeed I saw a load of photos on Facebook of the Christmas do. Naturally I was pretty annoyed and more than a bit upset. I sent a reply to the HR lady from her email assuring me she would make sure I wasn't forgotten. I wasn't complaining or nasty, I simply asked that they didn't forget me for the benefits.

I received a reply with lots of excuses and sad Smiley's, none of which was much cop but was assured another HR person would send me the benefits stuff well in time. They didn't, I chased again, got nothing back. So I looked up the other person's email address and contacted her directly.

Cue another email of sad smileys and excuses (it did go to your work email, I did ask that people on leave be remembered etc etc). She did attach the email about benefits fortunately, and just as well as the window had already been open for two weeks.

I am struggling now to reset my password to the benefits system as I don't have access to my work email. We have to change password s regularly and are not allowed to store them anywhere.

Annoyingly, my husband goes away with work for a week with his laptop so I am going to struggle to access the portal and make my choices before the window closes.

What do I do? This isn't on is it? Who at work should be making sure I get stuff? I assume the HR person who said she would? I want to make sure it isn't swept under the carpet as it shouldn't happen to anyone else. BUT I do need help to access the portal so I don't want to upset the apple cart.

Unfortunately, it is common at my work for things to go wrong like this and be met with platitudes and over friendly/unprofessional emails. Right at the moment I don't want them to be my friends, I want them to do their job.

SolomanDaisy Sun 14-Dec-14 11:46:38

Is there no remote access to your work email? If there isn't, they really should be aware that this information needs to go to your home email. I'd say that's a manager's responsibility though, not HR' s. If there is remote access, is there a reason you can't use it? Is it possible for you to use a keep in touch day to go into the office and sort this out?

bloodyteenagers Sun 14-Dec-14 12:12:26

have you ever tried logging into your work email outside of work?

chanie44 Sun 14-Dec-14 13:56:28

As someone who works in hr and has had two maternities, I sympathise. I don't think it's intentional, it's more a case of 'out of sight, out of mind'. The only thing I can suggest is to keep on at them for the info you need.

flowery Sun 14-Dec-14 17:22:47

It's not clear whether the problem with the benefits thing is that you need access to your work email or you have no computer because your husband has taken it.

Where is your manager in all this? He/she should have been thinking of you with regards to the Christmas do, and should be sorting out access to your email if you need it for the benefits thing.

Did you think you'd be able to do the benefits thing without your work email?

I agree HR don't sound particularly professional. Smileys, for crying out loud?!

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 14-Dec-14 17:31:29

Pick up the phone first thing tomorrow and speak to someone.

baffledmum Sun 14-Dec-14 17:52:09

OP - are you saying that the only way you access your work email is via your husband's laptop?!

Pick up the phone and speak to someone at work tomorrow before he goes away? Depending on where you are in your mat pay you may not have sufficient salary at this time to make any exchanges. You can review but flex bens are typically non-cash so you don't want to be cancelling any IMO.

feezap Sun 14-Dec-14 19:19:49

Hi All,

Thanks for your replies. I can get access to my email remotely, however, I have the password issue, they have to be changed every three weeks and we are not allowed to store them in any wayway, with a young baby I am struggling to remember. I will be able to get it sorted by calling work tomorrow, it will just be more difficult without the laptop.

My main confusion is how to handle the situation, I wasn't sure who should be responsible and thought I had done all the right things. My immediate manager is based in the US so would have no idea about the Christmas do in the UK, I can't blame him for that. Should it be him I go to to discuss it? I would not have been given any details of the benefits had I not chased several times so I want to ensure there's nothing else I'd miss out on and that it doesn't happen to anyone else.

flowery Sun 14-Dec-14 19:59:00

Well, not having a local manager won't be helping things! It would definitely be managers normally who ought to think of team members on leave when Christmas party is being planned, and generally take responsibility for ensuring they are communicated with, involved and not forgotten about.

In terms of handling the situation, well you've already identified that the benefits thing can be sorted by phoning work. In a general sense, as with virtually any work concern, your first port of call should be your manager, so tell him/her that you felt left out of the Christmas do and were overlooked with the benefits thing. It genuinely doesn't sound malicious or anything, more a lack of attention to detail. Not acceptable of course, but not anyone trying to exclude you.

Shenanagins Sun 14-Dec-14 20:05:50

I would suggest that you put in a formal complaint to the head of hr with regards to having to chase for the benefit portal. When dealing with flexible benefits and presuming that as it has a window they are salary sacrifice, they should have processes in place to capture those on maternity /long term sick leave.

WipsGlitter Sun 14-Dec-14 20:11:20

Flowery - a general question: is being invited to the Christmas do a courtesy or does your work have to do it?

flowery Sun 14-Dec-14 21:39:01

Legislation doesn't get that specific Wips, and no one has to be invited to anything. It's unlawful to treat women on maternity leave less favourably, so it is of course sensible for an employer to ensure that when organising a work function, absent employees are at least given the option of attending. Similarly, from a good practice point of view, making sure those employees who aren't in the office feel included and part of the team

feezap Mon 15-Dec-14 09:26:19

Thanks All,

I'm going to ask for some help today but also go in tomorrow to catch up with a senior member of my team who is in the UK to make sure I and my manager do the right things so I don't miss out on performance reviews in January. I don't think my manager has ever dealt with a UK maternity before so he probably has no clue.

Either way, I won't go mad, I know its not intentional but I want to make sure the UK office has something in place to look after people on maternity properly.

flowery Mon 15-Dec-14 10:03:40

Are you due back at work in January then? It would not be normal to conduct a performance review for someone on maternity leave - clearly they have not been at work for a while so assessing their performance isn't really possible or appropriate.

Depending on when reviews normally fall/dates due back etc I normally advise either doing it a bit early, before they actually go, or three months or so after they return, so there is some actual performance to review.

redskybynight Mon 15-Dec-14 17:40:55

Do you definitely have to choose your benefits within the window? When I was on maternity leave I was able to choose mine when I returned to work.

feezap Mon 15-Dec-14 19:01:49

Hi Flowery,

The reviews are tied in to pay rises that for some reason my company can only do in January, they will have the 6 months before I left to review so that is something. I will double check this though.

Rrdskybynight, I thought this was the same for me but I was told before I left that I should just do them as normal. In any case I need to review what is on there at the moment.

I'm heading in to work tomorrow so will ask for some more clarity on both.

Thanks so much

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