Suddenly unemployed for the first time in my life and visibly pregnant, I felt incredibly vulnerable

I’ve been cursed with bad managers all my career! This one seemed decent. I trusted her enough to tell her that our first child was conceived by IVF, after many difficult years of infertility. I wish I’d realised something was up when, on maternity leave, she changed my job description, giving half of my role to someone else. But I was exhausted from an anxious and sleep-deprived few months with a newborn and concerned to be accommodating to my team.

When I returned to work, I realised I was now effectively subordinate to the colleague who’d taken on much of my role, including all my line management responsibility. I raised concerns to no avail.

Then eight months back into work, I was told that mine and this colleague’s roles were being made redundant, replaced by a slightly senior position that we could both apply for – it was essentially my original job. I had just informed my employer that I was pregnant again when I was given the formal notification.

I applied for the role, but it clearly wasn’t intended for me. When I was made redundant, the initial offer would have left me thousands of pounds out of pocket. I pointed this out and was offered a better package so decided it would be in the best interests of my health and pregnancy to accept this and leave as quickly as possible.

Suddenly unemployed for the first time in my life and visibly pregnant, I felt incredibly vulnerable. I also felt naive that I’d never considered this might happen, particularly when I worked for a respected charity and my manager was herself the mother of young children.


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