I was the assistant manager of a pub/restaurant/hotel complex, and aged just 20, some 300 miles away from my family. My pregnancy was unplanned and terrifying to me. The father was an employee at the same complex. When I gave them notice of my maternity leave, I told them I thought it was unlikely I’d be able to return to work in the same job/working the same hours as childcare was impossible, I regularly worked 60 hours a week, anywhere between 6am-midnight and had no family nearby. The father worked in the kitchens, so we’d need them to put us on opposing shifts. I was happy to accept less hours, a different job; I just needed not to be unemployed. They agreed to discuss this at the end of my maternity leave.
What actually happened: The father ‘failed to attend work’ when he accompanied me to hospital when I was in labour (despite him actually speaking to the manager to say he wouldn’t be in), so they sacked him without notice. Two weeks after a really traumatic birth, I went to the pub to discuss my job and any chance of them re-employing the father, they told me I was barred and called the police to have me removed. As licensee of the premises, they had this right even if I was an employee. They did not pay my maternity pay, until I tried to claim via the jobcentre; it was eight weeks before it was rectified. We lost our home, and when my son was five months old I had to move back in with my parents. I never pursued it in the way I should have, I never took them to court, and it’s my ONLY regret in life.