My feed

to access all these features


Maternity cover being paid more than me?

50 replies

jugglingmonkey · 11/08/2015 07:37

I've been cc'd in an email exchange between my boss and my maternity cover, in which salary is agreed.

It's more than I'm on. I'm pretty annoyed and feel like I ought to say something. Perhaps my boss thought I earned more, or it's just careless, but either way it's not really on is it?

WIBU to reply to my boss and politely state that that figure is more than I earn and I'm surprised at what the mat cover has been offered?

OP posts:
Tangoandcreditcards · 11/08/2015 08:12

Along with others, I think this is very normal.

I'm recruiting for my own maternity cover at the moment and expecting to pay 10-15% on top of my own salary. As others say: short-term contracts often command higher rates, they may have had to match existing salary to recruit her, she may be a better negotiator and she may be not getting equal benefits if she's on an interim contract.

It's useful information for your next pay review, that's all.

IKnowIAmButWhatAreYou · 11/08/2015 08:12

You could always work short term contracts OP instead of being a permanent employee.

Once healthcare, pension & everything else is taken out, you'll find it's not much different to your wages I'd imagine.

In our company the benefits cost us another 40% of the staff's wage....

LovelyBranches · 11/08/2015 08:15

Realitycheque, so according to you market forces should allow inequality? No thanks. If that had been the case throughout history we wouldn't even have maternity leave. I'd far rather the OP spoke to her Trade Union to see if this could be resolved before resigning herself to maternity discrimination by the back door.

wigglesrock · 11/08/2015 08:15

As others posters have said it happens. I always thought it was pretty standard. I've worked short term contracts before and been paid more.

OTheHugeManatee · 11/08/2015 08:16

Short term contracts are often better paid. Permanent jobs get a better deal wrt job security, paid sickness/holiday leave, paid pension, sometimes healthcare etc etc etc so the overall package you get might well be effectively more than your cover is getting - she's just getting it in salary rather than various perks.

jugglingmonkey · 11/08/2015 08:16

Really mixed opinions on this, interesting.

We are public sector, it's not a 'contract' in the commercial sense. She will get the same annual leave, sick pay etc as me.

She's agreed about £3K more than I'm on, so not mega bucks but it would certainly make a difference to me! I give the job as much as I've got and perhaps I'm feeling put out because I've got an under-riding insecurity now that I'm a mum instead of career hungry professional.

I think though that the cautious views on here are more sensible. However, we don't have pay reviews, just a standard % increase based on performance so I'm not sure how I can ever use this to my advantage?

OP posts:
atticusclaw · 11/08/2015 08:17

Lovelybranches you are wrong I'm afraid. I'm guessing you work in the public sector? The OP hasn't even said that she's in a union.

whois · 11/08/2015 08:18

It's normal - otherwise why would people do short term maternity cover contracts? Have to pay more to compensate for the short term nature.

Don't 'expres you're surprise'. You'll look like a dick. Just use the knowledge when you return to work and when you have your first performance period back use the knowledge then if you've been meeting your goals to negotiate a rise.

mariposa10 · 11/08/2015 08:18

There's nothing you can do, your employer has the right to pay whatever salary they like to your maternity cover.

MyNameIsFled · 11/08/2015 08:21

if you work in the public sector (council/NHS/education) you will know that you are paid on grade and points within that grade rather than negotiated salary.

Jedi1 · 11/08/2015 08:23

My mat cover was on a higher salary than me - I was involved in the bloody negotiations. But when I can back I had a pay rise to more than she was on. Private sector if that makes any difference.

LovelyBranches · 11/08/2015 08:23

OP the fact that you are a public sector employee makes me even more resolute in my opinion. If you aren't a Trade Union member try talking to ACAS, the EHRC or Maternity Action for advice. It's a very safe state of affairs that so many women think it's fair for a mother to be paid less than her colleague who does the same job.

softhedgehog · 11/08/2015 08:25

I work in the public sector (NHS) and it is completely standard for those on short term contracts to be paid more than the long term employees they are covering. It is to compensate for the lack of job security.

LovelyBranches · 11/08/2015 08:27

*sad state of affairs

jugglingmonkey · 11/08/2015 08:28

Thanks everyone. Particularly appreciate the employment law info (and the sympathetic LovelyBranches)!

I'll let it wash over me for now...

My plan isn't to return to work for long after this mat leave anyway. I'm dreaming of setting up on my own, or a complete career change.

OP posts:
AnUtterIdiot · 11/08/2015 08:32

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PastaLaFeasta · 11/08/2015 09:16

She may have good conditions while she's there but she's on a 12 month contract as opposed to a permanent employee. She may be in this dream job for a year whereas you have the same job for as long as you want it. The extra money is for the inconvenience of the short contract and finding another job afterwards.

WizardOfToss · 11/08/2015 09:24

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HappilyMarriedExpat · 11/08/2015 09:31

Completely normal in my industry (and perfectly fair since she only receives a 12 month contract and you are a perm employee with - presumably - attendant benefits.)

It's so common that I am thinking of freelancing on a roaming basis to cover maternity when I return to UK next year - more lucrative than a perm role and DH's salary covers my living expense between contracts!

Radiatorvalves · 11/08/2015 09:36

My ex boss arranged cover for me while I was on sick leave. It was only 6 weeks (an operation) but he took on a more qualified individual without consulting me, paid her a lot more, and when I returned to work, her contract ran on. She took at least a third of my more interesting work. She was a nightmare. I claimed constructive dismissal about a month after my return to work, and settled for a reasonable amount.

Hopefully your situation won't be as bad.

Brummiegirl15 · 11/08/2015 09:40

This is totally normal. I was the maternity cover and I was paid more than the person I was covering.

The reason is, fixed term contracts are always paid a bit more otherwise the job isn't that attractive as only for 12 months.

I was actually made permanent, and had to have a salary cut down to what the job actually should be.

That was painful and I was really cross, but it meant I had a had a long term job and the security / stability that came with it and that was the price of it. I'm now pregnant, in the same job and no doubt my mat cover will be be paid more than me but I have the security of a job to come back to.

Its very unsettling being on a fixed term contract and the additional salary makes it more attractive.

You have a job to come back to. Whether you do or not - is absolutely your choice. Your permanent job gives you that luxury. A fixed term contract doesn't have that luxury. And not everyone takes fixed term contracts through choice, they take them because sometimes that is their only choice!!!

19lottie82 · 11/08/2015 09:44

Lovelybranches you are totally wrong I'm afraid.

People can be in the exact same role at the same time, even, and be paid different salaries, it's totally normal.

The OP negotiated a wage when she took the job and her replacement obviously negotiated a wage when she was hired. Simple.

There's no law that says people have to be paid the same. As others have pointed out, jobs usually have a salary banding and there can be quite a difference between the top and bottom.

serenmoon · 11/08/2015 09:52

Ask you boss. You were copied into the email so it's not like it's a secret.

AbbeyRoadCrossing · 11/08/2015 09:58

This happened to me too, quite a massive salary difference too. As others have said it's due to the nature of maternity contracts. You might be taking a year but if you give your notice to return they'd have to let that person go, so maternity contracts can be a bit risky for the person on them. They still get the same sick pay, holiday, benefits etc at my place though.

CitySnicker · 11/08/2015 10:22

If she's public sector and on a scale, does the salary difference not just reflect her additional years if service?

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.