I worked for a large engineering company four years ago before expecting my first child.
During my third trimester I suffered with excruciating back pain when sat down to the point I was often reduced to tears. I saw my GP who recommended I sit on a birthing ball and ask my employer for a risk assessment. My employer declined the birthing ball on grounds of ‘safety’ and the risk assessment I was asked to do myself and send to HR. I didn’t know what else to do so I just took the pain.
A month before my leave I approached my boss on the subject of keeping in touch days and the response was ‘don’t trouble yourself with that’. A week later he called me to a room and said that my job had been made redundant. I asked how that was possible as there was a lot of work to be done from which I was told that It had been subcontracted to India. I found this hard to believe as the work required a physical presence in the UK.
I thus asked whether I was to be given a similar job as I was only going to be away for 6 months and the response was ‘if there is one going’. My boss also said to me: “don’t be foolish and pick your battles”. This I took to be some form of threat if I took them to court for unfair dismissal. I found another position within the company which I applied for however they refused to maintain my original salary and insisted that I had to take a £10,000 pay cut otherwise it would be “unfair on the other team members”.
After my leave I came back to the position with the pay cut and found a very frosty reception. People who were friendly before wouldn’t even say hello and my work was made very difficult. It felt like I was being pushed out. so I left.
All through this I learned they had someone in the UK covering my initial post and later employed someone full time.