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Pregnant and offered compromise agreement to leave work

(8 Posts)
NorthernMonkey01 Wed 27-Apr-16 07:32:42

Hi all, Just looking for a bit of reassurance really & some positive stories to give me a bit of confidence.
I'm 27 weeks pregnant & had a meeting yesterday at work where I was offered a compromise agreement to leave. It wasn't exactly unexpected (the company I work for doesn't like pregnant women and funnily enough most are 'encouraged' to leave) so I guess it's just my turn! I'm fortunate in that the money they've offered is decent and I don't especially like my job (dislike the company and how they operate) and the location is terrible. However I would obviously have wanted to leave on my own terms - ideally after Mat leave and when I'd found a new role.

If I'm honest there are only 2 reasons why I wouldn't take the offer: 1) I like my immediate boss, she's great, we work well together & I can learn a lot from working with her - she pushes me to be better. 2) (And this is the one that's weighing on my mind) I'm scared about looking for a new job with a new baby. Once mat leave is over I'll be over 40 with a new baby and the thought of having to juggle that with looking for a new job/working in a new team just terrifies me.

So any positive stories out there to give me some confidence that it isn't going to be hell on earth (& make me stop wallowing!)

AnchorDownDeepBreath Wed 27-Apr-16 07:35:02

Would going back to a job that has actively and openly tried to get you to leave be any less scary?

I think work with a baby will be a new challenge anyway, so if you dislike your job and it's inconvenient, I'd be checking it the agreement is fair and seriously considering taking it.

MummyBex1985 Wed 27-Apr-16 08:04:54

Firstly, you don't have to leave if you don't want to. If they don't have any reason to dismiss you (apart from to ask you to leave in a discriminatory manner!) then they can't get rid of you fairly without a settlement agreement.

That aside, you could look at the positives. Reasonable money and you may well relish the extra time at home with your new bundle without the pressure to go back!

And re new jobs - you don't have to disclose that you have children and they aren't allowed to formulate any decisions about whether to hire you based on childcare.

I'd see a solicitor and maybe try and negotiate an increase based on the fact that they have no fair reason to dismiss and the obvious discrimination you're suffering...

Shetland Wed 27-Apr-16 08:18:46

it would seem reasonable to assume that this is a company that is not going to offer you any flexibility on your return to work (and in fact might go out of its way to make things hard for you). Will you need flexibility? Are you planning to return full time and on the same hours?

The thing that jumps out at me though is the fact that it's a 'compromise' agreement.
You don't need to compromise. You have rights. You are entitled to take your maternity leave and then return to your job (or one with equivalent pay and conditions - depending on how long you take off). If you're tempted to take it, I'd be negotiating- after all, they are the ones that want you to leave.

prh47bridge Wed 27-Apr-16 09:53:18

You don't need to compromise

The fact that the company is offering a compromise agreement does not necessarily mean that the OP has any option to remain at the company. "Compromise agreement" is a legal term. When a compromise agreement is offered it means the company is dismissing the employee and is offering the employee a sum of money in return for which the employee agrees not to take them to tribunal. It would be very unusual for a company to allow an employee to stay if they reject a compromise agreement.

NorthernMonkey01 - For the compromise agreement to be binding you must have independent legal advice. If you sign it without legal advice it is binding on the company (so they still have to pay you) but not binding on you (so you can still take them to tribunal). It is therefore in the company's interests to pay your legal costs. Your lawyer will advise you as to whether or not the offer is adequate and whether the other terms of the deal are acceptable.

NorthernMonkey01 Wed 27-Apr-16 09:56:22

Thanks ladies. Have had a busy morning - made an appointment to see a solicitor later this am & will speak to HR this pm to request an uplift on their offer plus any other things the solicitor comes up with.
Shetland - you're right there would be no flexibility at all re working arrangements on return to work and I do think I'd be better to leave now with some money and less stress and deal with return to work when it's time.
But in the meantime I guess I have to try & make it as beneficial as possible for me - definitely helps being pregnant in this instance as they have to be extra careful so I can use that as leverage.

TuckingFaxman Wed 27-Apr-16 16:56:50

I was offered a compromise agreement during pregnancy and took it. It all worked out very well. The situation was fairly toxic anyway and I didn't want to return, and the agreement also offered me the opportunity to stop working quite early in the pregnancy before starting ML. This was much easier on me physically and mentally than going into work would have been in those circumstances. I was able to secure a new job easily during ML. My agreement included provision for me to remain employed by them during ML plus an excellent reference, in return for not attempting to come back. That meant no CV gap. I would certainly try and get this as part of your agreement if possible. You can start your ML in 2 weeks if you want to, or tag on any AL first.

I understand feeling daunted, but I've started a brand new job as a parent, and I've worked in a longstanding job I hated as a parent. The latter was infinitely worse.

AdviceChat Thu 28-Apr-16 15:20:39

Hi, it's a difficult situation but probably more so as you are pregnant. Personally, I'm shocked by the culture in your company. I have posted before that is essential you seek your own legal advice when offered a settlement agreement. Here's a useful settlement agreement calculator to work out what you're getting is fair. I was once given the advice to 'feel the fear' when I was made redundant (years ago) but it was the best move for my career and confidence. Good luck with your job and pregnancy smile

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