They told me that I am being offered a settlement to leave as I am “going in a different direction to the company”

I returned to work after a nine month period off. During this time there was a promotion opportunity which I was invited to go for. I also asked to attend regular team meetings using KIT days which was agreed.

Anyway, after having the interview and not getting the promotion, I discover there was a team meeting I was not invited to. I had already submitted a flexible working request but the promotion was full time and I considered this carefully before applying, considering the potential pay rise to be enough to cover nursery fees etc.

The reason I was given for not being selected was that the other candidate was “better placed” (young and single?? I can’t prove anything).

My access to the company intranet was blocked so I was unable to access meeting notes, sales reports and emails… although I wasn’t copied into any emails at all during my maternity leave so no way of being kept in the loop. The person who did get the promotion was made to be my new manager and contacted me informally several times whilst on maternity leave. Ok – I was polite, asked her to help facilitate my return to work, order me new equipment and resources etc.

I have been back at work for ten weeks – no materials provided – not even business cards. I had to beg for new company laptop and acccess to the intranet. I found it impossible to open a spreadsheet to look at targets and send/review emails effectively and fed this frustration back.

I needed help from head office with preparing reports for important meetings – these were not done.

I had a review with my new manager who set me unrealistic goals which I disagreed with – my new sales target should have reflected that I was now part time. I also asked about my bonus.

Nonetheless, I was determined to succeed and I am out-performing my new manager in terms of the preliminary sales reports and have also signed up some huge accounts.

I was told I wouldn’t be receiving the company bonus (I asked for pro-rata payment to reflect the 3/12 months I did work considering all my KPIs and targets were met and sales continued to grow in my accounts whilst I wasn’t off on mat leave due to my pre-planning).

I called ACAS for advice and sent the information they shared via a polite email and HR got involved, and realised I was actually in the right and my bonus was paid eventually.

I have since discovered that they are keeping my maternity cover on in a full-time permanent role.

Ten weeks after returning from work I have been summoned with no notice to head office – they told me that I am being offered a settlement to leave as I am “going in a different direction to the company”. I was told there were screen shots of WhatsApps as evidence of my “disruptive tone” – It is apparently not acceptable to mention the lack of resources provided to me and ask colleagues if they have any spares.

If I do not sign the agreement I will face performance management and disciplinary procedures. Although I am confident that I haven’t done anything wrong, I simply can’t afford to face being fired with no reference.

Prior to this meeting the whole company was invited to an away day. We usually book our own travel arrangements and my manager told me to contact head office to book mine, so whilst everyone else had confirmations etc, I had nothing so this was clearly planned in advance.

How I can be performance managed after being back at work for such a short time I do not know, but I feel as though the odds have been stacked against me since I returned and that they didn’t want me to come back in a part-time position at all.

I feel as though fighting this would put far too much pressure on me and now that this meeting has occurred it puts me off wanting to fight for my job at this company.

I now have ten days to decide what to do, I have to find a solicitor and although I feel like I have a genuine constructive dismissal case. I have no idea how to prove this, and no energy to fight it either..

I have signed a contract at a nursery (which I have childcare vouchers through work to fund) and my son has to attend or lose his place. I don’t know how I’m going to find the money for that. I have rent and bills to pay and booked a little holiday with installment payment plans based on my wages – that’s not going to happen. My partner changed his working pattern to suit my return to work, and now can’t change it back and increase his hours to help our family income

Now I’m screwed!


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