Unofficially demoted(5 Posts)
I returned to work after a years maternity 3 months ago. I started part-time (maintaining my senior role) but due to a colleague leaving I have taken on more hours and now do around 90% of the working week.
Since I went back, a colleague who was my equal (although far more experienced) has now been promoted, into a new role created for her. The justification for this was that the boss needs more support from a full-time member of staff. I get on with her brilliantly and can see the need for her new role so have no issue with it. I was assure that my role would remain the same.
However, it has been made blatantly clear, through actions and things that've been said, that I am well and truly demoted. My responsibilities are constantly being taken away, my work is being interfered with and it has been made very clear that I'm no longer trusted/needed to carry out my role in full.
The only thing that's changed is my hours and the fact that I now have children.
I want to approach this with her as the situation is driveing me nuts and I'm so fed up with being overseen every moment of the day without reason. Before my mat leave I had complete autonomy now I feel like a novice.
I also don't want to appear ungrateful for their support: after horror nights of teething and sick children that I've needed to be home with, they've been great.
But I cannot work like this any longer. Any suggestions on how to broach the subject?
I think I would be fairly up front with both your manager and this person. I suspect she either thinks she's helping you or she is trying to prove her worth in the role.
What size is the company? If there is a HR department, if it was me, I'd go and have a quiet conversation with them first, describing in a calm way and in detail the difference between what was/is your role etc. And explain that you intend to raise this with your colleague and line manager. They may even have some advice and help you handle it the right way. Or if the subsequent conversation with your colleague/manager don't go well, it will make it easier to ask them to step in and help afterwards.
Very small - only 20 staff so no HR. We do buy into a HR scheme though, so if it's needed, it's there
It’s a horrible position to be in and difficult to get out of but I agree it may be necessary to be up front with your manager. Main question I think is whether you want to stay or try get a package to leave. If they gave you your responsibilities back would you stay. If so, why not set out what has changed in relation to your job and ask that they give you back the responsibilities that you used to have. You could ask about your options if they are not prepared to do so. This might lead to a conversation about a redundancy package.
You can get free advice from Maternity Action or Working Families who have an advice line.
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