I had just got married and started a new job after relocating. I discovered I was pregnant about 2 months in to my job and dreaded telling my new employer. When I told them they were surprised but seemed fine about it. Leading up to the birth they were piling more and more work on me to the point I had to take a few weeks off with stress as my baby was quite small and it was advisable to do this. For this reason I also decided to start my maternity leave a couple of weeks early. I was only entitled to statutory maternity pay as I hadn’t been in my job very long but I checked with my employer that leaving a bit early wouldn’t affect this and assured me it would be fine.
A day before I was supposed to be paid my statutory pay and a week before my planned
section (my baby was breech) they called to say they had made a mistake and I
wasn’t entitled to statutory pay despite me having a signed letter from them to say I
was. They tried to tell me I would still be getting the same money through
maternity allowance which was completely untrue and meant that I didn’t have the 6
weeks pay I was expecting. My husband works free lance and had taken time off but because of this he ended up having to work 2 days after our daughter Was born. Thank god my mum was able to come and help after the c-section. Not only this, but I found myself the day before the c-section having to complete an 18 page form to claim my maternity allowance which my employer had previously assured me they would deal with.
I enjoyed looking after my daughter and kept in touch with my employer where necessary but to be honest was still pretty furious with them for the stress they caused leading up to the birth of my child. At about 9 months into my 12 month maternity leave I met with them to discuss my return to work. I mentioned my desire to work part time and we discussed options. Without going in to huge amounts of
detail I was subsequently told my position was to be made redundant. I wasn’t given a real reason for this and on questioning discovered it was the only position in the whole organisation being made redundant. I was offered other roles, all of which were a massive step down or just didn’t match my skills. There were only two roles that matched my skills and I was told they wouldn’t consider part time and also that they would require travel that I wouldn’t be able to do it with a family.
I accepted the redundancy as quite frankly I’d had enough of them and didn’t want to work there any-more. When I checked I would get a months notice they said I could only get this if I signed an agreement that meant I couldn’t make a claim or talk about what had happened. I went along with this as I didn’t want to waste valuable time that I could be spending with my daughter on fighting this. I feel glad that despite this I can anonymously share my story and the injustice I have felt as a
result of having a family .