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1 in 7 women made redundant after maternity leave. Plus, new guest blog from Maternity Action

(166 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 10-Mar-13 22:06:41


Some of you may have seen this report in The Guardian of survey findings suggesting that one in seven women is made redundant after taking maternity leave.

The findings also suggest that 40% of the 1000 women polled found that, when they returned from maternity leave, their jobs had changed - with half reporting a cut in hours or demotion.

Does this surprise you? Or not? Maybe it's happened to you? Do share your thoughts...

*Update from MNHQ: We've now got a guest blog from Maternity Action over on the Bloggers Network. Do have a look, and let us know what you think about that, too.

stealthsquiggle Sun 10-Mar-13 22:08:53

I would be one of those statistics, I would imagine. I was back for 6 weeks before being made redundant, and I had to go to court to get what I was owed.

MumVsKids Sun 10-Mar-13 22:13:05

I'm one of them.

Back for 8 weeks, told there were to be cuts and had to be interviewed for my own job.

Boss told me I wasn't successful at interview, so could either take voluntary redundancy and get an enhanced redundancy package, or wait and see and gt basic redundancy.

I wasnt strong enough to fight even though I know I was being discriminated against. And that was local government.

Disgusting really sad

TheCrackFox Sun 10-Mar-13 22:16:37

Before I announced my pregnancy i was offered a promotion. As soon I announced I was pregnant this was never mentioned again.

During maternity leave I was made redundant.

Hormonalhell Sun 10-Mar-13 22:17:23

Yep I've been told I'm being made redundant and am on maternity leave hmm

smogwod Sun 10-Mar-13 22:18:45

it happened to me twice! I was made redundant after having both my children

Franke Sun 10-Mar-13 22:21:17

I'm not surprised, but only because of what I've read on here over the years. Still outraged though.

HorryIsUpduffed Sun 10-Mar-13 22:21:42

My job completely changed beyond recognition while I was on ML (I never got it back from my cover, even though she was still asking for advice). It was less senior, less challenging, everything. I wouldn't have been eligible for a pay rise for years.

That said, I know several women who took voluntary redundancy at the end of ML as a good way of extending their ML by months or even years, so I don't know what difference that makes to the statistics.

When VR was mentioned at my work I enquired as I was bored stiff and had been there long enough for a reasonable payout equivalent to quite some months of SMP. My manager pretty much laughed in my face.

NorthernLurker Sun 10-Mar-13 22:22:06

When I was pregnant with dd2 I didn't get a promotion I applied for. When pregnant with dd3 I was acting up in a role which was not made permanent at that point. I was in the midst of my maternity leave when it was avilable and I applied. I didn't get it. A man got it.

But heh, I'm sure pregnancy had no bearing on either situation right? hmm

My daughter is 6 next month. I'm still about £5000 in earnings behind the man who got that job at that point.

HorryIsUpduffed Sun 10-Mar-13 22:23:39

And at DH's old company, those on ML repeatedly dodged redundancy when the company halved in size over eighteen months, even when their entire department closed. The HR dept was awful, and cowardly, and terrified of tribunals hmm so didn't seem to dare even consider them.

KatieMiddleton Sun 10-Mar-13 22:24:59

Not surprised in the least unfortunately. I took redundancy after my first maternity leave. Alas I cannot go into details for legal reasons...

It's so easy not to notice it happening in your workplace too because of compromise agreements, confidentiality clauses and that some people do choose not to go back after maternity leave.

I wonder how many of the 1 in 7 were true redundancies and how many were "made redundant" code for "treated abysmally and paid off with a compromise agreement"?

stealthsquiggle Sun 10-Mar-13 22:26:52

By way of contrast, I was actually promoted during my second maternity leave (different, and current, employer)

Eglantyne Sun 10-Mar-13 22:29:37

I wasn't made redundant, but my job on return from mat leave was nothing like what it had been before. The trainee who'd been taken on while I was away for 6 months had my office and all the best bits of my job, and they decided to keep her on after I returned. She got to chose which days she did and which days I, the fully qualified, been there for 4 years person, got to do. I was criticised for being tired, asked constantly if I felt I should resign, paid less than the less qualified male member of staff, expected to stay late even though I had a child to pick up. Etc, etc. It was so horrible that the second time I went on maternity leave, I became so stressed about the thought of returning to work that, even though we couldn't really afford it, my dh & I decided I should just resign and I didn't go back.

KatieMiddleton Sun 10-Mar-13 22:30:32

Horry women on maternity leave have additional legal protection from redundancy so it may well be that the HR department weren't useless.

BoyMeetsWorld Sun 10-Mar-13 22:31:20

Terrifying. Though I have to say, a company have recently headhunted me - I've openly said I'll be having a baby before too long & they seem fine with it?

smokinaces Sun 10-Mar-13 22:33:04

I was made redundant on maternity leave. Shoved sideways into a basic admin job on protected salary as a way of.protecting higher jobs. Was told whilst nursing my two month old son in an "informal" meeting. God I wish I had fought it. Five years on and I'm still pissed they did it the way they did and when they did.

smokinaces Sun 10-Mar-13 22:35:45

Mumvskids mine was local government too.

HandlebarTash Sun 10-Mar-13 22:38:04

Happened to me. Back for three weeks, restructure revealed, told I was being made redundant in three months time. They had done everything by the board and given me the right amount of notice, waited til I returned to work so I wasn't still on ML and under any protection. Bastards.

HandlebarTash Sun 10-Mar-13 22:38:45

Local government too.

elastamum Sun 10-Mar-13 22:38:48

Happened to me twice.

Both times I was made redundant whilst on mat leave from director level positions. Once in a merger, once through 'restructuring'. I think 'treated abysmally and paid off with a compromise agreement' just about covers it hmm

Writehand Sun 10-Mar-13 22:39:11

It happened to me. sad angry

leftangle Sun 10-Mar-13 22:43:55

I'd been back a year when I was made redundant so I probably wouldn't count on the statistics but it was mainly due to me being a part time worker since maternity leave.

parabelle Sun 10-Mar-13 22:45:41

Not surprised at all sadly.

MegBusset Sun 10-Mar-13 22:48:15

Yep happened to me too. Though actually it worked in my favour as I'd already decided not to return to work when my ML ended, so my redundancy payment was a nice bonus!

HorryIsUpduffed Sun 10-Mar-13 22:48:30

Katie, they were definitely useless grin as proven in other proceedings but it is interesting to know you are supposed to have additional protection on ML.

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