My boss attempted to avoid paying me statutory maternity pay but other managers pointed out it was illegal. I was constantly reminded how expensive it was for them and forced to give an end date for maternity leave when I was 15 weeks pregnant.
My leave was covered by a colleague at a lower pay grade who was told that I probably wouldn’t come back and to assume she would be permanently promoted. When I did come back, she wouldn’t hand over, talked over me in meetings with clients and I found she had lied to management, saying she had consulted with me on decisions that were made in my absence and putting words in my mouth that were not flattering (or true, she had never spoken to me) – which explained their cold attitude when I returned and why they wouldn’t deal with me in a number of matters.
It was intolerable and I felt I was being forced out. It was particularly sad that it was a woman who was planning to start a family who did this. I resigned after 5 months and it looks unlikely that I will be able to get back into my career of 15 years.