It is not easy to bring a claim especially against big employers like mine but I am also doing it for every other woman in my position who does not have the funds to do so. We need to make a stand against this. It is 2016 not 1916.

I worked for a large public sector organisation, one of the largest employers in the UK. I felt settled in my job, was committed, and I had been supported to undertake professional qualifications. I had been promoted for about 6 months prior to my maternity leave and felt confident that I had a good future with the organisation. I did not expect to be treated differently when pregnant, but there was certainly no let up before I left. There was no plan in place for my cover and so I worked right up until my last day with no proper handover. I was pressured to finish things before I left as there was no maternity cover to hand things over to. I kept in touch while on maternity leave and undertook KIT days. All were badly organised, my boss on annual leave for one, and I didn’t feel very involved with the team. It was on my last KIT day that I was told I would be made redundant. I was the only one in the team being made redundant whilst my maternity cover (they found one eventually) was given a newly created permanent role and another team member was internally promoted. Another position was mentioned to me which was a completely different role not aligned to my career which I eventually turned down as it wasn’t suitable for me. I’m sure they thought I either didn’t want to come back now I was a mother or would happily move departments. On my return I had been kicked out of my office and felt very unwelcome. No one knew I was due back. I was treated as if already redundant as many parts of my role had been removed. Emails I had sent my boss about my maternity leave and redundancy were circulated in the office. It was very uncomfortable. Formal redundancy process started when I was back at work a month after first being told about it on maternity leave. I was officially made redundant a month later and was off work for 6 weeks due to stress. I have a new job now but regardless I am not going to let them get away with it. I was made redundant because I went on maternity leave and they realised they could cope without me. I was treated badly and in my opinion bullied too. I have started the ball rolling to bring a claim as my lawyer thinks I have a good case. I have already spent £1500 on legal fees. It is not easy to bring a claim especially against big employers like mine but I am also doing it for every other woman in my position who does not have the funds to do so. We need to make a stand against this. It is 2016 not 1916.

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