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Getting career back on track after maternity

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by pepsi_kda, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. pepsi_kda

    pepsi_kda New commenter

    My career (of 10 years) has taken a huge step backwards since having my first child and is now continuing to head in the wrong direction. How can I turn it around?

    In my previous post I coordinated 2 subjects (one core and one foundation) and I mentored students. Due to my husband's new job we had to relocate at quite short notice and, reluctantly, I had to leave that school.

    In my new post, I took a slight step back as all the core coordinator roles were already filled. However, I was employed as an outstanding teacher and, after a year, I was put on the outstanding teacher training programme and felt I was beginning to get back on track. Then, happily, I became pregnant.

    On returning to work after maternity leave in September I am going to be part time, 3 days a week. I had hoped (and, stupidly, assumed) I would be able to return to a job share as a class teacher. However, the Head will only allow me to return as PPA cover teacher. He had spoken about making me an NQT or student mentor but this is no longer going to happen. The teachers who completed the outstanding teacher programme are now KS leaders with TLRs. The Head knows I am unhappy with the situation and is 'looking for a role' for me. We are going to meet about it in September. I'd like to go to him with ideas/a plan to try and get my career moving back in the right direction.

    Does anyone have any suggestions, please, as to training or roles I could take on?

    (It's worth mentioning that I've been told I'll never have my own class at this school as long as I'm part time as the Head only wants one teacher per class and no job shares. So I need advice, please, with that in mind).

    Thank you!
     
  2. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    You need to seek advice from your union in respect of pregnancy / maternity and / or sex discrimination. Returning mothers are going to be more likely to request part-time work because of caring responsibilties and will therefore be more likely to be the subjects of less-favourable treatment because of it.

    The Part Time Workers (Prevention of Less-Favourable Treatment) Regulations may also be relevant here as it is unlawful to treat a part-time worker less favourably that a full time worker. The Head's ruling in respect of only doing PPA cover impacts upon your career (as you are already realising). You have ready comparators in the progress of those who were on the same course as you and who did not become pregnant.

    Take advce from your union - NOT the school or local rep,as discrimination law is complex. Ring the regional office.

    Alternatively, ring the helpline of the Equality Advisory Service and chat to them. They are the experts in discrimination, very friendly and helpful.

    www.equalityadvisoryservice.com/.../ask
     
  3. pepsi_kda

    pepsi_kda New commenter

    Thank you.

    It's difficult to rock the boat, isn't it. I realise now that I should have taken action (advised by local rep) when I was removed from the course but I was worried it'd make things difficult/uncomfortable on my return from maternity & might make them treat me less favourably...

    Thanks again, especially for the link as I didn't know the EAS existed.
     
  4. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Did I read you right and you were removed from the course because you were pregnant?!!! Do please take advice abut all of this as a matter of urgency.

    You have 3 months minus one day from the last substantial act of discrimination to make a complaint to a Tribunal (though most disputes ca be resolved withoutnrecourse to that). Bear in mind that as soon as you return to school, your 'protected period' in respect of pregnancy / materenity discrimination will end.

    If you are victimised because you assert your rights not to receive less-favourable treatment on ground of pregnancy / maternity, the school is in Very Deep Water.

    By the way, in a discrimination claim, you can go after the individual as well as the employer. It would be worth making illicit recordings of any conversation in which the Head makes discriminatory comments about your maternity leave or pregnancy. No, it's not illegal!
     
  5. pepsi_kda

    pepsi_kda New commenter

    Thank you again.
     
  6. pepsi_kda

    pepsi_kda New commenter

    Re-reading your 2nd paragraph: does that mean that, if I wait until September to discuss this with the Head and try to resolve it myself, it'd be too late as the 'protected period' would already be over?

    Think I'd better contact someone on Monday!
     
  7. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Anything you complain of that takes place outside the protected period will not count as pregnancy / maternity discrimination (though may be sex discrimination). The day you return to work, your protected period ends. You could complain of discrimination that took place within your protected period, but risk running out of time if you delay.

    Remember the time limits - the clock ticks on a discrimination claim from the date of the last substantial act. If you wait until September, you have lost at least another 6 weeks. I am assuming, from what you have said, that the last substantial act was refusing to allow you to return to your previous job and insisting that you did a 'lesser' job that would harm your career.

    Please take advice now and discuss tactics, rather than try to deal with this yourself. Pregnancy / maternity discrimination is all too common and needs to be challenged.
     
  8. Huge commiserations. I too am just returning to work after having my first child. Despite making it very clear that I wanted to continue with my two subject leaderships (one of which is core), I've been removed from them without any discussion. In fact I wasn't even informed about losing one of them - I only found out when I was chatting with the person they'd given it to. However as I'm returning as a PT class teacher, I don't think I have grounds for feeling anything more than deeply gutted as I was passionate about both. Good luck if you fight it - I really hope it goes well and I'll be checking back here in case you update us how it went.
     
  9. pepsi_kda

    pepsi_kda New commenter

    That's awful, Penny99! Are you going to question/fight it?

    I've got a babyless afternoon tomorrow so I'm going to ring the union then to discuss options.
     
  10. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Assume nothing and take advice from your union. At the very least your Headteacher should have justified to you why it was not possible to enable you to continue with your eladership roles as a job-share. There may be very sound business reasons why it is not possible - but you should be told.

    Do not let this pass you by without ringing your union or EAS for advice.
     

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