After I went on ML I found out the company had employed her to do my job – without communicating anything to me at all.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was acting Head of my Department.  I knew that the company would never instigate hiring cover so I pushed to get someone employed on a temporary contact for 12 month to provide cover (the higher-up’s categorically stated no chance of a full-time position, only temporary).  A friend of mine had recently been made redundant and with her experience in the industry albeit from a different area, I put her forward for the job and she got it.  She started 2 months before I went on ML so had 2 months training. 3 months after I went on ML I found out that the company had employed her to do my job – without communicating anything to me at all.  This was extremely stressful as I had no idea what that meant for me returning to work.

As my time to return grew closer I had my meeting to discuss what would be acceptable.  They agreed to a 6 month trial to working from home 3 days per week and visiting the office once a month or more if needed.  This was fantastic as the commute into London is draining at the best of times.  6 months after starting back – they wanted to have another 6 month trial rather than making the contract alteration permanent.  I was extremely disappointed as I have in fact been able to cover all my previous work load and more in just 3 days.  I felt I couldn’t argue so accepted the situation as it was.  I found out around this time that the girl who I employed to do my maternity cover was promoted to Head of Department – this wasn’t a role I had ever been interested in but it rankled that again as the most senior member of staff with 10yrs experience over the other 2 members of staff, that I hadn’t even been considered or consulted about the role.  

I have now been reduced to a 6 month rolling contract – this seems extremely unfair as I view myself as being a less risky employee as I’m not likely to be tempted away as easily but being treated this way doesn’t make me want to stay with the company. Unfortunately I’m now in a catch 22 as the deal I have is very good and I’m unlikely to get that opportunity elsewhere.  This seems very ungrateful I know, but it’s so infuriating that it is difficult to swallow.  I’m a mum not a moron, I still do the job well & no one has complained about my set up but it just seems that all of a sudden I am considered as being lesser.

It seems that being part-time has pushed me into the background, none of my experience seems to be worth anything any more.  It also seems that I am not in the running for any pay-rises either. Everyone else in the department who has asked has been given one.  I feel that I’m on shaky ground and as such can’t ask for anything extra, or complain about anything as I could be told that my contract wont be renewed.  As the breadwinner of the family it is extremely stressful trying to juggle everything.

I even asked recently if I could up my hours from 24 (3 days) to 32 (4 days) but to do those hours over 3 days as this meant I would be entitled to a pay increase which is sorely needed without having to sacrifice any of it to pay for more day-care.  I am awaiting an official response but I am not holding my breath.