I’m a secondary school teacher in the UK and in September 2015 I left one school to start working at another. At this point I was working 3 full days on a 0.6 contract. I became pregnant within weeks of starting this job. It wasn’t planned and I found it hard to deal with. We already had 2 young daughters but I didn’t feel it was right to terminate the pregnancy. I couldn’t do it. I did not tell my work until I was around 16 weeks as there had been a question mark over the baby’s health initially (which thankfully turned out to be nothing). When I told them, they were outwardly supportive but generally ignored the fact I was pregnant. No one knew when I was going on maternity leave or when the baby was due. I was told 2 weeks before I went on maternity leave that I wouldn’t be entitled to any SMP or OMP, and that I had to sort out claiming maternity allowance myself. This was due to schools becoming academies. A few years ago, your continuous service in teaching is what counted towards your entitlement.
Recently I enquired about my return to work (I’m on a permanent contract) and was told they weren’t sure what days I would be working because of other pregnancies within my department. However on the last day of term, at 6.30pm, I was emailed a timetable, where I would be working everyday, mostly just for one lesson, on a 0.6 basis. I have a 40 minute commute, so in terms of fuel, time & childcare I wouldn’t really be earning any money at all, not to mention I have always worked 0.6 with this school and they know, I work 0.6 to save on childcare and have quality time with my children. They are blatantly forcing me out of my job, because they know I can’t return on that basis. I am being punished for becoming pregnant and it makes me furious that they can do this. I’m pretty sure they are acting ‘legally’ but it it doesn’t make it any less immoral.