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'You made the choice to take a year off!'

(32 Posts)
LG1979 Wed 07-Sep-16 21:05:16

Needing some advice please!

I had a year off on mat leave and started back in June. I worked my ass off in the run up to mat leave on the understanding I was working towards a grade rise. Myself and my colleague worked together, she took on a more technical role within the team so was awarded the grade rise while I was off. (chuffed for her!)
It was understood that the only way to get the grade rise was to do the more technical role, so until I did that, I didn't push for the grade rise for myself.

Since starting back in June, I found out that the person who was seconded to my role while I was on mat leave had been awarded the grade rise, even though they have nowhere near the skill level and knowledge that I have in the role. I have spoken to my manager about this and he has now said that there is no further budget for my to get the grade in the next financial year.

So my question is, why was a new person given this if only 2 people in the team could be given that grade, and secondly, what rights do I have in regards to fighting against this decision??

Tiggeryoubastard Fri 09-Sep-16 14:49:11

Maybe she's better than you. On what grounds would you anticipate 'fighting' the decision?

BikeRunSki Fri 09-Sep-16 15:02:36

Let me clarify:
2 people in the team (including you) working towards the grade rise.
You went on mat leave
Your colleague developed their technical skills, and got the grade rise.
You understood that this was the only way to get a grade rise - was this confirmed?
Your maternity cover also got a grade rise, but without developing their technical skills, which you believed was the only way to do this.
You havn't developed the skills. You've queried whether you can get the grade rise anyway, citing your maternity cover, and have been told that there is no budget for this.

Is that correct? You're not going to drip feed that the met entity cover has got a PhD or something?

MindSweeper Fri 09-Sep-16 15:04:16

Well it was your choice and in that time the other employee was there and did all she had to do to earn the raise. It's disappointing for you but it's what's happened

AbyssinianBanana Fri 09-Sep-16 15:08:21

So what role is the person who got the rise doing now, as you're back doing your job? Maybe it was related to the role they were being promoted to when you returned?

LG1979 Sun 11-Sep-16 19:23:21

The person who covered my mat leave has been given a perm role within our team as we needed more people, however she was given the grade rise 6 months into the role. She does not have the same knowledge and technical skills I have in this team. The company cannot tell me that after 6 months learning a completely new role, that the person is entitled to a promotion I have been working towards for the last 2 yrs.

AbyssinianBanana Sun 11-Sep-16 22:23:02

Um, but they didn't tell you that. And they didn't discuss with you why that person got a promotion, did they? That person was working during that financial year while you were on leave. Next financial year, if/when you returned, they'd consider you.

By all means, ask them to clarify specifically what a person in your role needs to do to get the promotion - but don't be telling them that so-and-so didn't have those qualms so why did you give them a raise? Unless you are that person's manager or HR is outraged and willing to support you, I can't see how you would know another employee is or isn't deserving of a raise.

flowery Mon 12-Sep-16 10:39:55

I think you need to seek clarification on what the criteria actually are and what the process is as well.

In terms of fighting the decision, they are entitled to give someone else a pay rise/put them up a grade, and you're not going to get them to be able to take that away from your colleague, however if you met all the criteria and were not put up because of your maternity leave, that's something you may be able to challenge.

Tiggeryoubastard Mon 12-Sep-16 12:47:15

* The company cannot tell me that after 6 months learning a completely new role, that the person is entitled to a promotion I have been working towards for the last 2 yrs.*
The company don't have to justify to you decisions regarding other people. Don't you realise that? The way you're coming across on here I'm wondering if your lack of promotion is about your personal skills. Or as mentioned, a different financial year. But I'm leaning toward the former.

LG1979 Tue 13-Sep-16 21:31:17

Let me be clear....I have absolutely no issue with my colleague being granted a promotion what so ever! I know she is a brilliant worker and we are friends! My issue is that there are only 2 x this grade available in the dept, and a new role was created at the higher grade while I was on leave. However the new role was effectively my position, doing the same job I do, and have been doing for a few years. So if it is the same job as I do, why am I not being given the recognition for the work that I have done and granted the F also?
On speaking with Acas, they have confirmed that if a role has been created in the team while I was on maternity leave, and it was the same as the job I was doing....then the company should have informed me of the option to apply for the promotion role! I was never given the chance, the role was never advertised, it is widely known within the office that the manager created the role to get his buddy a perm position within our dept. This is the issue I have! I don't feel I have been treated fairly as I am a great worker, a senior member of the dept, my only issue is that I took a year off to have a baby. And on several occasions my manager has actually told me "well you made the choice to take a year off". In my opinion (and several others I've spoken with) this is discrimination!

flowery Wed 14-Sep-16 05:56:58

You said the person doing your role had been given a grade rise. You didn't say a new role had been created which was vacant and which you could have applied for had you been told about it. Those are two very different things.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Wed 14-Sep-16 06:25:05

I'm with Flowery. You need to be really clear on what happened. Was a colleague given a grade rise; or was a vacant promotion position opened for applications but you weren't informed that you should apply?

They are massively different scenarios and that explains the very different advice that you've had.

Lessthanaballpark Wed 14-Sep-16 06:32:37

Why is everyone giving you a hard time OP? It reeks of discrimination and nepotism. They've totally left you out of the loop because you were on maternity and it must feel like a slap in the face.

I'd ask them to clarify why you weren't informed when it was exactly your job an I'd persue it after explaining to the new colleague that it is nothing personal.

MoreCoffeeNow Wed 14-Sep-16 06:52:36

I was given a grade rise when I started to apply for other jobs. Maybe they thought she'd move on and want to keep her.

JudyCoolibar Wed 14-Sep-16 06:54:44

I agree with Lessthan. Whether it was a case of a new job being given or new person being given the grade rise, you should have been kept in the loop and been given the opportunity to apply. Has ACAS advised what your next step should be?

EdithWeston Wed 14-Sep-16 07:00:49

Not everyone is giving her a hard time.

And the scenario as first laid out (promotion without changing role) is totally different from what is apparent from the later post (new role created and OP not getting the chance to apply).

The first is unfortunate for OP, but all about the relative qualities of two workers. The second sounds more like bad practice which denied OP an opportunity that should have been available to her (not the promotion itself, but proper consideration for it) and that may well count as discrimination.

OP: are you a union member?

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 14-Sep-16 07:06:53

they should have informed you if a new role was created so you could have applied, equally though whilst you say your replacement doesn't have your skills and experience within the team it could well be that they have different skills and experience from a previous role you know nothing about which might be suited to where this new role is going.

and at the end of the day you did "choose to take a year off", I gave up my career when I had children, my choice to have a child, my choice to let that affect my job.

UnderTheGreenwoodTree Wed 14-Sep-16 07:12:24

And on several occasions my manager has actually told me "well you made the choice to take a year off". In my opinion (and several others I've spoken with) this is discrimination!

Yes, I agree it's discrimination. It's not 'a year off' - it's maternity leave. You've been treated very shoddily - and this sort of crap still happens to many women when they have babies.

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 14-Sep-16 07:15:57

another thought - it could have been part of her recruitment, if she came from a higher salary and they really wanted her then there might well have been a "6 months into the job your pay will increase from x to y" and then when the role was being created anyway she was automatically put into it. you should have known about a new role but her grade and salary aren't really any of your business as they could be based on so many things you aren't aware of.

LG1979 Wed 14-Sep-16 21:20:55

It would be nice not to have as harsh comments when I have done nothing wrong!
The person was seconded to our team to cover my role while on maternity leave. They came from a role which was the same grade as me but in a different team, doing a 1st line role. I have been doing a 2nd line role in my team along with a colleague for a few yrs. It was understood that to be given the higher grade, we had to be trained in a specific thing, to which it was agreed by me and my boss that while pregnant and going on leave, wasn't the right time for me to go on this training. This was the only thing different from me to my colleague who was doing the higher graded work. So the plan (which was discussed many times with me and my boss, was that when I came back, id be sent on the training).

The person seconded to cover my role, was to cover my 2nd line current role (not the additional higher graded role). This was a temp secondment.

Since starting back, there were 2 stories going around -
1. That they had been given the grade rise for the work done in their previous role (1st line role).
2. A role was created by the boss in the higher grade and given to her.

Scenario 1, I myself came through 1st line and led the team for a couple of years doing the same jobs.
If it's scenario 2, then this was not advertised to anyone else in our team/office, and standard procedure is that any new roles are at least advertised internally.
I have been told by my colleague that the boss didn't want to advertise the role as it was kind of sneakily pushed under the radar.

Since finding out about the person being given the grade rise when they weren't trained or carrying out the more detailed work in our team, this was my issue.
I have worked towards getting the rise, which was discussed many times, and supposedly with the support of my boss. I spoke to him about it and he said he would check what the financial planning was for the following year and take it from there.
He then said he's been told no more of the higher grades can be given.
So my frustration is the fact that I truly feel I have been shoved out the way while on mat leave and someone else has been given the role I was supposed to be getting.
I have no issue with the person who covered my role, as I said before. I'm good friends with them and they have worked hard. However it cannot be one rule for one and one rule for another.

lougle Wed 14-Sep-16 21:42:55

"However it cannot be one rule for one and one rule for another."

Actually it can be, absolutely. Unless the reason for the rule difference is that one of the parties has a protected characterisic and is being discriminated against because of it.

So, your colleague could be given a grade rise because she has pleased someone whilst someone else had to prove capability - no law against that. Although internal company rules may add extra 'fairness' criteria.

However, if you have missed out purely because you have had time off to have a baby, they would be in trouble.

TheGruffaloMother Wed 14-Sep-16 21:58:57

It was understood that to be given the higher grade, we had to be trained in a specific thing, to which it was agreed by me and my boss that while pregnant and going on leave, wasn't the right time for me to go on this training

I hope I'm following this right, but if you didn't have the training for the role, why would they have told you it had been created while you were on ML?

LG1979 Wed 14-Sep-16 22:32:31

It's not the further trained role they've been given the higher grade for, it's my current role they've been given the higher grade on.

TheGruffaloMother Wed 14-Sep-16 22:54:31

It appears I'm not following it right grin

Is the higher grade a different role that would actually be advertised then? A person would have to interview for a 'higher grade' in a job they already have? What do we mean by 'higher grade' if you're already doing the job?

HenryIX Thu 15-Sep-16 06:43:33

This is possibly the most confusing thread I have ever read. OP, please can you explain how the different levels work. I'm muddled with all the 1st line and 2nd line, higher grades, new roles, old roles, training requirements etc.

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