So I've worked for 12 years for the same company. Last 2 years I have done 2 people's jobs as my counterpart left and was not replaced. I've worked so hard and had great feedback.
I went on maternity leave in March and the lady covering my role very quickly had someone reporting in to her so 2 people have covered my role for the duration of my leave.
I've gone back today to discuss my return and been told that the person covering my role will become permanent and has been promoted above my head. I will return to cover a different part of the business (which is fine with me as I need a change) but won't be promoted to the same level as 'it's clear you've been spread too thin and not had the opportunity to grow'. I've been told I can go on a 6 month accelerated plan to be promoted and promised in 6 months time I can be the same level as my cover.
I took it well but now I think about it I think its really wrong. Not my fault I was spread too thin, I asked for help and was told no and I worked so bloody hard. I have 2 choices, keep my head down and get on with it or make a fuss and raise a grievance!?
I'm really upset but am I just sensitive? Or is this Discrimination?
How was the other person promoted, did they apply for a vacant position? If so, had you made arrangements before you went off to be notified of vacant positions that you might want to be considered for?
It sounds very unfair and I know exactly what you mean but if you want to keep working there maybe you need to be a bit pragmatic and see if the opportunities you have been promised actually materialise. If not then raise a grievance. If they do then it hopefully won't matter as you will get your opportunity too (which might not have happened had you not gone on mat leave)
She's restructuring to keep my cover on permanently. Effectively she's made a new role in our team and put me into it, meaning my cover does my old role and I have a new business area to cover instead. No advertising or anything but they wouldn't need to really.
I seem to remember that if you take more than 6 months mat leave they don't have to give you your existing job back, but have to give you a comparable one. It may have changed though as it was a few years back.
From my Managers position shes promoted the woman on her merits, fair enough I guess, but she's had someone working for her so had loads more time to prove her worth an opportunity which I was not given/had taken away. My Manager admitted that!
I'm just annoyed as in my eyes her promotion reflects badly on me to the rest of the business, regardless of the promises I've been given I still have to work my arse off for another 6 months again. Not to mention what if this new role is a flop and they don't need it? I'm redundant through no fault of my own.
That does sound like a risk- in that case you need to get some proper advice. The only thing is that raising a grievance, and further action if needed, may lead to your job ending even sooner than that. Not fair at all, but unfortunately not uncommon.
It's not discrimination (from info you have given here).
Someone has come in as mat cover, impressed the management, and been offered a permanent role which happens to be a promoted post. There is no law that says all positions must be advertised, nor that any promotions must be offered to all.
What the law says is that you should not be denied promotion because of maternity leave. If the position had been advertised, and you were not notified, then that would have been discrimination. From what you have described, your colleague was the obvious choice with no competition and you have been told you need more development before you could be considered for a promoted role. There might be circumstances outside your control where you were unable to demonstrate suitability and it might seem unfair or unjust but without any evidence otherwise you have to take it at face value.
I disagree with OllyBJolly. You and your maternity cover presumably have very similar skills to you, which is why she's been covering your role. If your employer wanted to restructure to create a higher level post covering your role, and a separate one at the lower level your post was previously on, they should have made both roles available to both of you.
Your maternity cover may well have been successful, but to restructure someone's role on maternity leave and not give the person on maternity leave the opportunity to apply for the higher level post imo constitutes denying someone promotion opportunities.
I’m not sure the law in the uk but where I am you have to return to the exact role you left on mat leave. Therefore having a restructured role inc a new boss may not comply? In my experience the person hired to cover my mat leave was admittedly a better fit and they wanted to keep her on when I came back - however to comply this person would have had to be in a role less senior and reporting to me. They tried to create a job share for her and I. It didn’t work out and legally they weren’t allowed to do so