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Back from maternity leave - being sidelined

(8 Posts)
Bigmerlin Thu 24-Mar-05 12:03:59

Hi there
Today, I have just pulled a sicky for the first time in my life, because i was so angry that I had to leave at 10.30am to prevent myself from resigning, or being sacked...

I went back to work in Jan, after 6 months mat leave. I went back because it was supposed to keep my career going, because I love[d] my job and the people I worked with were great, and because they practically begged me to. While I was gone, they took on an unqualified 'young girl' [oh, I'm so old at 30!] to cover some of my work.

But even now that I'm back, she's still there, and is still doing part (all the best bits) of my job. I have been asking for my responsibilities back, but have been told that she should keep doing them, as "she knows what she's doing". So do I! I used to do it! And other bits of my work still depend on the bits she's doing.

Now there's a really good permanent position coming up in-house. It's almost exactly what I used to do in a previous job, and I know I had an excellent ref from that job. Today it was suggested that i don't even apply for this perm position, seeing as i only want to do 4 days a week. I have to "think about what i really want", ie this new job, or my 4 day week. Guess who's being trained up for it? Unqualified new person. Guess how many days a week she works? FOUR!!! Bizarrely, my boss still seems to really like me, and is always asking how my baby is, so, at least to my face, she doesn't seem to have an issue with me having been on mat leave etc.

So what should I do? Currently I'm working part-time, like I wanted to, it's local and fairly well paid. But - what's left of my duties are boring as hell, I have no responsibilities, no career progression, and no input into projects etc. it's very hard not to equate being underused with being undervalued. If it's not helping my career, should I bother keeping going, seeing as 1/2 my take home pay goes on the childminder anyway. We could just about manage on one wage, but there would be no saving up for a deposit, so we'd never be able to buy a house. I have to get this sorted, because it's really eating me up inside.
Grateful for any advice...

Freckle Thu 24-Mar-05 12:07:54

You should put your concerns in writing to your boss. If you are unhappy with their answer, you could start a grievance procedure. It does sound as though this might be leading to constructive dismissal and you may also have a claim for sex discrimination as this appears to be linked to your maternity leave/flexible working.

You would need to take specialist legal advice on this.

WideWebWitch Thu 24-Mar-05 12:09:21

Ooooh, I'm on your behalf. Put your dissatisfaction IN WRITING NOW! You don't have to be unprofessional or rude, just write a calm and reasonable email/letter describing what has happened and what you want to happen next and send it to your boss. It's totally unfair that someone else is doing some of your job and you're entitled to return to the same job so it sounds discriminatory to me. (but I'm not a lawyer! Have taken employer to tribubnal for sex discrimination though). Who suggested you don't even apply? Is there an HR dept? They ought to be extremely concerned if these kind of remarks are being made. I don't blame you for being cross, I would be too.

Bella23 Thu 24-Mar-05 12:14:36

I think that you should have a meeting with your boss and explain how you feel. Its best to try and sort this out on a friendly basis first if you can. Good Luck

LIZS Thu 24-Mar-05 12:19:45

Outrageous Think they may be on pretty shaky ground legally with all this. Is it your boss who is saying this, if so it could well be without the knowledge of your personnel dept. Could you write to your boss as described and copy them in. Ask for a formal review of your responsibilities and take a copy of your job description, accountabilities and appraisal from before your ML. There should be no attempt to downgrade your job or opportunities from before. Maternity Alliance (here )should be able to give you the legal slant as to how going part time affects your rights (or rather not!).

Good luck

Bigmerlin Thu 24-Mar-05 13:42:09

Hello again
Thanks for the support. I have calmed down a bit now. All good advice. Problem is, I work for a small charity. We don't actually have a personnel dept to complain to! I have tried talking to my boss about it, but she got defensive and wouldn't listen. Even tho' I told my boss I was pregnant right from the start, for some strange office-political reason, she kept it from her line manager for months, and kept me away from him so he wouldn't notice! [We're not often on the same site]. So he thinks I'm really sly - and he'd be the 2nd interviewer. I was never given a job description, I gave up asking after a year. So i don't have anything in writing re my old duties, with which I could compare my new ones. And although by law my boss had to let me return to my job, and agree to me going part-time, there's no legal reason why she has to give me a new and better job part-time. I'm going to apply anyway, and if I don't get it, which seems very likely, I'm going to absolutely insist that my own job is improved.

WideWebWitch Fri 25-Mar-05 07:38:32

Bigmerlin, being a small charity doesn't make them exempt from legislation! Good luck.

Scorpio05 Sat 09-Apr-05 15:48:35

That is just wrong!!!!
This is exactly the problem that I am worrying about wen I return to work in 2 months.
The girl they got to do my job is absolutely horrid another bad point is I cant go part time and keep the job I love!
If it does happen to me I will be compaining to HR immediately and having a word with my boss!!!

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