Advice & Support

Discrimination while pregnant: ask the expert

Discrimination while pregnant: ask the expert

My partner has recently begun a new job and she's already been singled out and left alone in the workplace. She's pregnant and informed the company when finding out. Since then the manager in her team, who has her "Little Click" of people sitting with her, has not trained my partner at all, does not respond to requests for time off for ante-natal appointments until the last moment; any time my partner needs help with a call or an email that she hasn't received training for, she is left alone as the team are on the phones; all except the "Click people" who are sat on admin working near the manager. As well as this, she's been given a shift pattern for the next month, not really a pattern, as she's been told she has to do lates all next month, which directly interferes with her childcare arrangements as she won't be able to pick-up our son after work. They are not considering this at all. Although she is not refusing to work shifts, she doesn't think it fair to do shifts every week for an entire month, whilst the "Click Team" get to work a more suitable 8-4 shift and she has to do a 10-6 shift. She's constantly being moaned at and shouted at by senior members of staff for doing jobs incorrectly, and is increasingly having to stay behind work after her shift has ended and is the last one in work usually for the last hour of her shift as the others are all home, then she stays longer to finish admin/email work which has been assigned during taking calls and she hasn't had time for, so she's staying for nearly an hour unpaid in an office with no help on her own because she's afraid she will be moaned at by her manager the next day. It's getting to the point now where she's breaking down in tears after work and is a depressed mess. I keep telling her to go into work and just have it out with her manager and drop her like a sack of spuds and remind her that she's an untrained air head who clearly has no managerial skills and walk out and forget the job and that we'll survive, but in reality we've got a house and a child to pay for and a new one on the way, so she just cannot do this feasibly. What is she entitled to and what can we do? She's clearly being discriminated against, as are a couple of the other girls in the team who are pregnant as well. They receive the same treatment, but they've got off on long term sick before their maternity. It's heading the same way for her by issuing a sick note for depression... Please any help and advice would be great; she's already spoken to her manager's manager and they just said if you don't like it, then leave basically; she's also consulted a union rep at work about the situation and they've said it's not fair, but making a complaint against her makes her humiliate you in front of the group [my partner has witnessed previously to another team member where the manager was quoted saying "I'm going to make you're life hell in this team now, you're not getting a transfer either"]. Totally unacceptable for one of the largest telecoms companies in the UK.

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Can I ask my new employer about their maternity policy? Ask the expert

Can I ask my new employer about their maternity policy? Ask the expert

I have been offered a new job in a bank and I would like to know what their maternity policy is since I already have a child and I would like another one. My current employer has a 12 weeks fully paid maternity leave policy and I would like to know what level of benefit I would have from my new employer. Is this kind of information public? My potential new employer is publicly listed. The information is not reported in the offer letter and I feel uncomfortable asking directly for obvious reasons.

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Selection for maternity leave cover: Ask the expert<br />

Selection for maternity leave cover: Ask the expert

I have worked for my company for  four years, in this time I have covered my manager and deputy manager many times whilst they have been out, I was the only other key holder and had all the responsabilites of a senior member of staff whilst they were away. I am currently on maternity leave and before I left my manager told me she was trying for a baby, I made her very aware I would like to cover her maternity leave whilst she was away if I could. Since I have been away she has become pregnant and is due to leave in  October, I am due to return in November. She has recently told me that covering her job role will be my deputy manager which I have no problem with and covering his will be a girl who has been employed in our Birmingham office for two years, who is currently covering my maternity leave. Is it right that I wasn't considered for the job? And wasn't told about it so that I could apply? I have asked for a meeting with her where I plan to ask why I wasn't considered, but this has really offended me, to the point that I want to leave and am really upset about having to go back! I feel like I'm in a no win situation because it's too late now.

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Right to maternity pay as a sole-trader: ask the expert

I'm currently on maternity leave getting satutory maternity pay. In my time on maternity leave I have started a business as a sole trader. I'm pretty sure my employer know this now as we use the same social networks. Am I jeopardising my maternity pay by starting this business?

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Stripped of flexible working following maternity return: ask the expert

I returned to work in February after taking Additional Maternity Leave (AML) and I immediately put in a grievance because my company refused to reinstate me in my previous role. They said that, while I was away, several changes had happened and that they could no longer sustain my flexible working in this role (I work full time, but with two afternoons from home).  My grievance is that the changes haven't affected the job that I was doing and it still exists in the same capacity and, since my flexible working is part of my contract, that I have right to be reinstated in the role.  They argue that all they have to give me is a job with the same job title and have moved me onto a different role, claiming this is where they need the resources. In my opinion, this role was a made-up role and didn't really exist.  I am still waiting for the outcome to my grievance, but, in the meantime, the company have just announced that they are restructuring and the job they put me into has gone!  My worry now is that 1) this makes me vulnerable to redundancy and 2) if they don't make me redundant they will use the opportunity to cancel my flexi working.  What do you suggest?  Do I have any rights?

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