I faced the prospect of going on mat leave but having no job to return to

I was working in the media, as an employee of a large company, on a series of fixed term contracts with no breaks. It was an open secret that fixed term contracts were used as a get around for making anyone staff members. Two months after I told my boss I was pregnant, I was told my current contract was a maternity cover and if I wanted to keep working there, I would have to reinterview for the role (which also stipulated that I must be willing to do some physical tasks that, as a pregnant woman, I couldn’t do). No one else was being asked to reinterview for their role – others were just given the usual extension to their contract. I kicked up a fuss, and as a result had my contract extended until the end of my mat leave.

I asked what would happen then, and was told that it would depend whether they had a job available for me – despite the fact that by that time, I would have had over four years continuous contacts, and so met the criteria for being automatically made a staff member. But I faced the prospect of going on mat leave but having no job to return to. Eventually, just before I went on mat leave, I was given a staff position, after I had put in grievances with HR.

The whole thing hugely affected my mental health and I ended up in hospital shortly after my baby was born, with severe PND. I am not returning to the company, because my health is still not back to where it was, and I still feel so incredibly hurt and bitter about the way I was treated by a company that I’d been loyal to for years.


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