I used to think people who went to tribunals were trouble makers and difficult staff but this experience made me think very differently

I had been employed with the same company for 14 years and had worked up the ranks to become managing director. My pregnancy was a shock and I really struggled with the whole concept of having to take maternity leave at such a crucial time. This resulted in impacting upon my mental health and despite informing my employer they never supported me at all. I had a new director assigned to manage me at 5 months and things got progressively worse. I was tasked with restructuring the business before my mat leave started. As we were restructuring there was a freeze on higher management roles. I was therefore expected to complete these roles alongside my own role. The new director tasked me with additional roles, would give me unreasonable deadlines for work and then change their mind and discarded the piece of work. Everything came to a head when I was 7 months pregnant and I visited the midwife for a routine appointment. She noted I was not well, psychologically and physiologically and suggested I took time off work. My employers were less than understanding so foolishly I returned to work. Again there was no empathy from my employer, the stress continued until finally my GP informed me that i was putting my unborn child’s health at risk. I therefore was signed off sick until my maternity leave commenced. This did not deter the director from pestering me with emails and requests. In the end I had to be blunt and tell them not to make contact. 6 weeks after my child was born I was informed by email that they had decided not to pay me any of my additional maternity pay. They tried telling me they had changed my contract and as such I would not be eligible for enhanced maternity pay. I ended up putting in a grievance and whilst this was being investigated, very unprofessionally I made my mind up that I could not return to the company. As far as I could see this particular director had orchestrated stories about me and my professional conduct involving people I was expected to go back and manage. My confidence in the organisation was shattered. My grievance was upheld and the company agreed to pay me my maternity pay but ultimately I had no option but to walk away from a job that I had loved prior to getting pregnant. I have another job now but still feel very vulnerable. I didn’t have the strength to go to a tribunal. It was too traumatic after giving birth. I used to think people who went to tribunals were trouble makers and difficult staff but this experience made me think very differently.