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boss confused me, going back to work after mat leave

(7 Posts)
Monstermomi Wed 28-Oct-09 09:49:08

Hi all.
I'd emailed my line mgr re: returning to my sales job. she replied the area has grown so the hours are marginally more but still not unreasonable (I'd expected this anyway). she said my mat cover was doing a fantastic job and then implied that I hadn't done a great job and she questioned my ability to do a good job upon my return with family responsibilities as a hurdle.

1stly I disagree with her. I had the job for 5 months and it was growing when I handed it over to my mat cover. if I'd not gone on mat leave I'm sure I'd have grown it even more.

2ndly I question her wisdom as a line manager to send such a message via email to someone on maternity leave. it sounds like she's pushing me to resign. I've kept all communication with her in case it is needed.

3rdly, don't I need to go back to work for at least 3 months or I'd have to pay back my maternity pay? I can't afford that!

am now feeling insecure and rubbish about myself in this job. any other advice? thanks in advance.

Monstermomi Wed 28-Oct-09 10:01:43

sorry, I wrote the OP in a rush so don't thing the 1st para is clear.

my manager said the sales area has grown under my Maternity Cover's management implying I had little to do with this growth (I disagree). also she said the hours of this job had increased and then questioned my ability to handle these hours whilst juggling family responsibilities. in my opinion the hours haven't increased hugely since before I left on maternity leave so still manageable.

This manager and I have never seen eye to eye and she always makes me feel defensive. Ihaven't yet replied to her email. I need to think up a calm, collected, well-written reply.

Bramshott Wed 28-Oct-09 11:10:34

I think you need to stay completely professional - it's not her job to insinuate that you won't be able to do the hours, if you are confident that you can. Just reply that you are happy with the slight increase in hours, and that you'll be returning to work on XXX date.

As an aside, you don't need to go back to work for 3 months unless your employer provides an enhanced ML package and makes returning for 3 months a condition of that.

flowerybeanbag Wed 28-Oct-09 11:15:21

It does sound as though she might be trying to gently persuade you that you might not want to come back as she prefers your maternity cover, which is very naughty of her.

Assuming you want to go back, you mustn't be intimidated into resigning. You could email her back along the lines of saying you are pleased your cover has been doing a good job as it will enable you to hit the ground running when you come back and take over again. You could also say that you are not happy about her implication that the fact that you have family responsibilities will affect your ability to do a great job as usual, request that she refrain from similar comments in the future and point out that (presumably) lots of employees at your company have children and perform just as well as those who don't.

Hopefully that would make her realise that she's on dodgy ground saying things like that and will make her think twice about doing it again as you are making it clear you won't tolerate it.

In terms of maternity pay, you won't have to pay back any SMP, but if your employer has paid you more than SMP, they may have in their maternity policy or in a letter to you confirming the amounts, that you need to return for x period of time or pay it back. You need to check that.

Monstermomi Wed 28-Oct-09 14:54:28

thank you both. very good advice and points.

It's just so difficult not to take her email personally. She has a lot of employees to look after and we don't do appraisals hmm, so I don't feel she 'knows' what kind of employee I am. I'd taken over a really fractious sales area but had turned it round. I really do think that my maternity cover benefitted from my re-organising and was therefore able to grow. On the other hand, my cover has at least a year more experience than I do so will definitely be more fluent in the job. Still, I was only 5 months in this position not really a chance to prove myself.

re: Pay, I've checked my employee handbook which explains maternity pay and it doesn't mention the obligation to return for x period or pay back. I'm being paid 100% my usual salary for 18 weeks then SMP but my letter didn't indicate that I would have to pay this back should I decide not to return.

I would like to go back as I like the job and need the money. However, I'm very unhappy with my boss as well as the organisation so have mixed feelings.

MrsDenning Sat 31-Oct-09 23:38:47

In the absence of a claw back clause you will not have to pay back the full pay if you do not go back.
It may be worth returning before you make the decision to resign if that is what you are thinking of? You may feel very differently when you are back in the workplace, think carefully before ruling out your option to return.

flabbyapronbelly Sun 01-Nov-09 19:50:28

18 weeks of full pay is really good. Do you get other benefits too? Are you thinking of having any more children? I would definately consider that as don't know of many employers who offer such good maternity benefits. Go back and get pg as quickly as possible wink

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