Whilst I was pregnant:
My employer said that they were supportive of family life and encouraged pregnant women lighter workloads, and to take their full maternity leave, as it was “healthier”. The things is, I soon found myself in a position in the company that was not only paid more poorly than my original position, but on what was almost a part-time schedule. I complained about this, but they just said it was for my ‘own good’. Worse, I soon became sick with e-coli and, whilst I was in the hospital, my original work-tasks were taken up by a poor pair of unemployed-women who had been sent by the job centre (and were, of course, paid nothing at all). When I returned I was expected to train these women to do my job, for no extra pay (and already receiving a lowered wage to my previous one).
After maternity leave:
I took seven months maternity leave. When I returned to work, I discovered that not only was I out of a job, but those doing my job weren’t even the unemployed-women I’d helped train before I left! Instead, their were several more unfortunate people from the job centre who had been sent to do MY JOB for FREE. My employer said they no longer had need of me, so with a seven month old daughter I found myself suddenly unemployed and with no stable income.
My daughter is now fifteen months, and I still can’t find a job. Nobody wants to hire me because my previous employer refuses to give me a reference despite the fact I worked there for three years prior to my pregnancy, and was promoted by management four times during that period. I even have to sign-on at the job-centre myself, now, and find myself in the position which means that all-too-soon I may be sent to an employer and asked to work for free. Perhaps, judging by my previous employers new way of saving money by using slave-labour, I might end up working there again but for no pay.
I wish I could afford to take them to court, but even if I could, the time limit has long elapsed.
Sorry about the long post, but ranting about it makes me feel a bit better, especially to other’s who have faced similar problems.
In summary: I was forced to take a lower-paid demotion whilst pregnant, train unpaid, unwilling staff to do my job, then told there was no job open for me when I returned from maternity leave, because an unpaid, job-centre procured staff member was covering my previous role.