Firstly, I was offered my boss’s maternity cover, only to have to let me employer know I was also pregnant. Whilst I was on my maternity leave my boss decided not to return to work. I told the head of the department I wanted to apply for the position only to be told they had already given it to someone else. Had I not been on maternity leave there is no way this would have happened and I was horrified.
When I first returned to work my employer was flexible, allowing me work a four day week. Following a restructure I was told all roles would be full-time. I agreed to this but made it clear I wanted to work the extra half-day required from home until my youngest son started school in September. I was told that if I didn’t start full-time in the office pretty much immediately I’d be deemed to have resigned. I have since left the company (where I’d worked for over 14 years) after reaching a settlement, having had to seek legal advice.
It was a horrible, protracted experience and one in which no value was given to my hard work and the value I gave to the company. I had to fight really hard to get a settlement – although it was obvious I was being discriminated against, having to seek legal advice and the associated costs was terrifying, particularly with the prospect of having to go to a tribunal looming in the background. I can see why a lot of people would choose just to go quietly rather than potentially incur loads of legal costs trying to see justice done. I felt totally helpless a lot of time and it was a really draining and dispiriting experience.