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maternity return, redundancy, promotion, equality jumble.

(1 Post)
FrustratedWorkerBee Wed 27-May-15 21:30:28

Trying and failing to keep this short - very grateful if you make it to the end.

I went on maternity leave in August 2014 whilst at risk of redundancy following the closure of my office by my very large employer. I returned to work in March 2015 to a new office (4 week trial period etc).

I am now talking with my boss about promotion. My firm promotes staff once per year in September. Technically I am eligible for promotion as I worked more than 3 months of the performance year. I have worked on a number of projects since my return on all of which I have feedback saying that I am operating at the next level and should be promoted.

Problem is I will not have met all my KPI’s for this year. This is down to a number of factors beyond my control including regional economic factors (acknowledged by my firm) and the fact that it takes some time on return from maternity to get new projects and obviously in the last few weeks prior to going on maternity leave no-one was allocating new projects to me.

This KPI is always a problem for staff doing my job in Town B (as it was in Town A) and will only be addressed in the short to medium term by promoting me and moving me to Head Office. I want this to happen sooner rather than later.

So I was wondering - do I have any grounds to argue that the failure to meet this KPI should not be taken into account given that it was largely caused by my maternity leave? My boss’s view is that I have been ready for promotion for several years but I have had 2 periods of maternity leave in that time and so several years have passed in which I am either not eligible for promotion or I have not pushed for promotion due to heading off on maternity leave (demands of the job already exhausting enough without putting promotion case together etc) or struggling with the KPI issue on return from maternity leave.

Is my firm under any obligation to assist maternity returners with this KPI issue? The firm operates as a bit of a free for all in terms of getting quality work. There are no procedures to fairly allocate work either in terms of quality or quantity. This is an issue for all new joiners and returners so does not only affect maternity returners but this has been a specific issue every time I have returned to work. Is there any kind of obligation on the firm to ensure that maternity returners in particular get allocated adequate quantity and quality of work or does the fact that we are all treated “equally” (in theory not necessarily in pratice) mean that they have no specific obligation to maternity returners?

During my time on maternity leave, when I was under notice of redundancy, my firm recruited a number of people in the same position as me and the position to which I am seeking promotion at Head Office. Head Office is huge. Generally recruitment is fairly ad-hoc. We are nearly always in recruitment mode so essentially agencies send in CV’s, we look at them and if we like the recruits we hire them regardless of whether there is an official vacancy or not. We do have an internal job vacancies board on the company intranet but far more recruitment goes on than is advertised there. In the same way however it is always open to you to request a sideways transfer to another office. In that context do I have any protected/enhanced rights during maternity leave (given I was at risk of redundancy from location A) eg to be notified of “vacancies”/recruitment taking place in Head Office?

Any other advice? Assuming I do not get anywhere with this, I’m really struggling to see how my career will not just stagnate due to this KPI issue. I am locked in to working here for `12 months due to clawback rights in respect of enhanced maternity pay etc and thoroughly fed up.

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