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Maternity leave - overlooked for promotion


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I'm currently on maternity leave, and applied for a promotion (one of 3 jobs) that was advertised at work. I am very much a suitable applicant for the job, and would be good at it.

 

HR were CC'd on the emails, and it was stated that my application would be treated fairly alongside all other applicants. I spent an hour going through the job descriptions with my boss, applied, and told that I'd be interviewed.

 

A couple of months later, they announce that the position has been taken, having interviewed all other applicants. They appear to have completely ignored my application. I also believe that I was the only applicant for this particular position, and it's been given to someone who didn't even apply.

 

I've had no pay rise for 3 years, despite working on their top priority project and even having my holiday requests held to ransom (I'm also paid over £10k less than a male counterpart with identical qualifications doing the same job!), so felt that this promotion was my only chance of finally getting a pay rises.

 

What next??? Obviously I'm really angry about this. I spent a lot of time and effort over my application.

 

The snag is that I intend to return 3 days a week instead of 5. They do not offer flexi hours, so an 8am start and 5.30pm finish means I can't put my child in a nursery for any more than 3 days, as this would be SO cruel!!

 

I feel they completely have me over a barrel regarding promotions and pay rises due to my need to work only 3 days a week, and that I'm now going to be stuck on a low salary until I'm willing to return full time. There are plenty of jobs in this field (they are struggling to recruit), but all are full time.

 

(It is perfectly feasible to do my job in 3 days, and I've already said that I will be contactable by phone on the other two days to deal with any urgent issues. The promotion would have been even better to do over 3 days!)

 

Any advice most gratefully received! I'm really at a loss of what to do now :(

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Hi,

 

Draft an e-mail to the head of your HR department requesting the reason, or reasons for not inviting you to an interview. That should be your first priority. Your subsequent action(s) depend(s) on the content of their reply. Do attach every e-mail related to your application...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello again!

 

I emailed HR politely requesting reasoning why my application for promotion was ignored. After 1 week, I sent a follow up email, and got a grovelling phone call from HR saying they're going to look into it.(they'd forgotten...)

 

Another 2 weeks since the phone call have now passed, and I sent another email saying have they got any further with the investigation, to which the only response was that they've got a manager looking into it, and the director has been informed.

 

How long is a reasonable amount of time to wait for a response? They are no doubt either trying to think up an excuse, or will do their best to brush it under the carpet, which is obviously not acceptable.

 

Thanks

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  • 4 weeks later...

Me again.

 

It's now been almost 6 weeks since I contacted work to ask why my application for a promotion position was overlooked.

 

Can anyone tell me what I should be expecting?!?! I would have thought that someone from the relevant department would have contacted me by now and at least offered an apology as a starting point, but not even that!

 

I have an old email from my boss (who has since left, but HR were CC'd on this email) from when the positions came available that stating:

 

I will need to liaise with HR on how to resolve being on maternity and applying for roles and interview etc. This will go into the mix with the others.

 

I was also told in my return to work interview that I would be interviewed shortly for the position.

 

I contacted ACAS, and they told me to contact Community Legal Aid as it's a legal issue and comes under Sexual Discrimination. I contact them, who spent ages asking questions, then just gave me a link to their website and told me to find a solicitor that would give a free half hour, all of which are at least 2 hours drive away! They were of no help whatsoever.

 

All I want to know is what can I expect as an outcome on this situation, is an apology really not too much to ask from my employer, and is it really OK in this day and age to treat staff with so little respect?!

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It is not what you should expect from the company... which probably will be nothing.... it is what you want to do about it?

 

You could put in a grievance not only about the discrimination but also the fact that they continued to discriminate against you because they didn't follow up the polite email. But grievance of this nature start to be combatative and deteriorate quickly. people get stressed out and go off sick with stress related illnesses. If you go down that route, how far do you want to go? Are you so mad that you will risk your current job?

 

Do you have legal protection cover for employment disputes? Check your home contents insurance where they normally can be found. If you have legal protection then you have the starts of a chance to gain some sort of justice... but probably no job at the end. So what do you want?

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Thanks for the reply.

 

What I want is the lead position (or a fair chance at it!), but obviously that is not possible now they've given it to someone else. I would accept an apology and a pay rise! (I am paid £10k less than a male counterpart who has identical qualifications and experience...)

 

As I want (need) to work 3 days a week, I'm aware I have very few options. Saying that, there seems to be a shortage of people in my field in the area, as the company have a high turn over of staff (due to treating them badly would you believe?!?) and are still struggling to recruit, so unless they start being nice to me, I will do my best to get a job elsewhere.

 

What makes me laugh is that it's supposed to be a family orientated company!

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"(I am paid £10k less than a male counterpart who has identical qualifications and experience...)" ??????? !!!!!!!!!!!! Why have you not done something about this discriminatory behaviour? That is a very hefty difference, especially if it has been going on for some time. Personally if you can get another job, I would be rocking their boat as hard as I possibly could to get a fair shake of the pot. I ask again, have you legal protection cover?

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??????? !!!!!!!!!!!! Why have you not done something about this discriminatory behaviour? That is a very hefty difference, especially if it has been going on for some time. Personally if you can get another job, I would be rocking their boat as hard as I possibly could to get a fair shake of the pot. I ask again, have you legal protection cover?

 

It is a HUGE difference (around 35% more), but what can I do?! It's against company rules to discuss salaries, and I only know what this guy earns as he's untidy, and left his pay slip open on his desk! Annoyingly, I did get offered another job last year, then the next day I found out I was pregnant (very unexpected, given I was on the pill!), so pulled out. I did point out in my appraisal that I felt under-paid, but it got ignored. I didn't get an appraisal this year, even though I was supposed to. They forgot.

 

I've checked the house insurance, and I can't see anything about legal cover unfortunately. I think my OH opted out of this.

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Did you copy the wage slip? Sods law on the home insuance cover.... ! That leaves No Win No Fee, if you can find a lawyer willing to do it or go it alone. There are many caggers on here that will be able to talk you through it, but it is a daunting task.... but I suspect you have the fight in you.

 

Personally I would put in a grievance and claim sex discrimination and whatever else you feel is necessary. putting in the grievance will change the dynamics and interpersonal stuff so beware of it if you can't stomach it.

 

Bad luck on the getting pregnant bit... but you will be happy and content when the baby comes.... they are great time wasters!!!

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Did you copy the wage slip? Sods law on the home insuance cover.... ! That leaves No Win No Fee, if you can find a lawyer willing to do it or go it alone. There are many caggers on here that will be able to talk you through it, but it is a daunting task.... but I suspect you have the fight in you.

 

Personally I would put in a grievance and claim sex discrimination and whatever else you feel is necessary. putting in the grievance will change the dynamics and interpersonal stuff so beware of it if you can't stomach it.

 

Bad luck on the getting pregnant bit... but you will be happy and content when the baby comes.... they are great time wasters!!!

 

The pregnancy bit was last year, and my baby is now nearly 8 months old!! (and adorable, even if he did come along at a lousy time!).

 

I have got a lot of fight in me, but I am hoping that it can be resolved without having to resort to legal stuff. I think I'll send another email to HR saying that I'm disappointed at the lack of interest my department are taking to resolve the issue, given it's clearly sexual discrimination.

 

I guess that's just the private sector for you! The work itself is really interesting and enjoyable, but the management are incompetent.

 

I didn't take a copy of the wage slip. I didn't dare touch it, as I felt guilty and shocked just looking what it said on it! I think the guy in question had some sordid information on the boss (the one who left), hence the pay rises!

 

Thanks for the help.

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