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Pregnant and job offer retracted

Discussion in 'Staff, pupil & parent's wellbeing' started by MCM26, Jun 12, 2020.

  1. MCM26

    MCM26 New commenter

    Hi, I hope this is in the right forum?!
    I am a qualified teacher but took some time out to be with my children. In December I took a job as an LSA. A few weeks ago the school asked me to cover a maternity teaching post next year - part time. I said yes. I haven’t signed anything but staff and parents have been informed in meetings and news letter.
    Yesterday I told the Head I am pregnant. I was not pregnant when I accepted the job offer. It’s very early but disclosed it as I am working and other pregnant staff are not in school. I expected to be sent home. However, I continued to work the whole day and then at the end of the day was told to stay home to stay safe as I was classed as vulnerable. I was also told that I no longer had the teaching job from September.
    I just wonder where I stand? He was quite open that’s it’s because I’m pregnant and
    1. May not be in school due to being classed as vulnerable in September
    2. Can’t cover the full year as I am due myself.

    I am not even sure I still have my post as LSA.
    Could anyone give me some advice how I follow this up with him?
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    You go straight to your union (please tell me you are in one). They are not allowed to retract a job offer due to pregnancy.

    You might want to send him an email asking him to confirm that he is withdrawing the job offer due to your pregnancy, and asking about the LSA post. If he's got half a brain, he will not reply to confirm that (because at that point he's admitted discrimination), but you never know (and asking about the LSA post may distract him from realising that that's why you're emailing.
    Perhaps word it as "Thank you for letting me know that you no longer wish me to take on the maternity cover in September, since I am now pregnant myself. I realise that we didn't discuss whether that means I will remain in my current LSA post; please could you confirm that."
    That way, hopefully he'll answer the second question without refuting the first sentence, and that will be useful evidence.

    I guess the other thing you could ask is whether, in the unfortunate event of a miscarriage, he will be reversing his decision.

    If you have nothing in writing about the job offer, make sure you download a copy of any newsletters mentioning your appointment; that ought to be sufficient evidence that you had been offered the job.
    agathamorse, Catgirl1964 and bonxie like this.
  3. MCM26

    MCM26 New commenter

    Thank you for your reply and advice. I had an email drafted and your suggestions have helped me tweak it.
    I’m no in a union (I know!!!) I left my teaching union when I left teaching and had planned to join again for this role but just hadn’t got round to it.
    I never thought in a million years I’d be facing this kind of discrimination. I’m still a bit shocked about it to be honest.
  4. Abitofeverything

    Abitofeverything Occasional commenter

    I would presume you still have your LSA post, but obvs you need to check. Unfortunately you hadn't signed a contract for the teaching post, so I'm not sure if you have a strong case here ( I find it odd that they'd announce it without you signing a contract...) Playing devil's advocate here but I can see how the head would want to get out of this one, as with the current climate he may well need all his teachers back in school if possible, and he's probably thinking, 'Phew, at least we didn't sign the contract on that one!'
    I can't believe anyone works in a school these days, teachers or TAs, without being part of a union...
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. agathamorse

    agathamorse Senior commenter

    It's rare to sign a contract in teaching as soon as you're offered a post.
    Brixtonboy likes this.
  6. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    No union will make it harder to fight this; you might check your house insurance as sometimes that includes legal cover.

    On the other hand, fighting it may make you rather unpopular in the long run, and it's only a temporary teaching post, so presumably no guarantee of work beyond that. Provided your LSA post will continue, you might be better for settling for taking maternity leave from that; then if another teaching post comes up in 2021, hopefully you'll be a good candidate for that.

    If the LSA post was non-permanent, or they try to say you don't keep that, then fight, and mention that you have been advised that you may have a discrimination case (they'll probably assume you're in a union, and hopefully back down).
  7. averagedan

    averagedan Occasional commenter

    You're being employed to cover a maternity cover you can no longer cover.... so the head could claim it was a conditional offer of employment and find another spurious reason as to why you're unable to fulfil the role.

    However what he has done is outright illegal. You need to put together a "timeline" of everything that has happened with as much evidence as possible, i.e. e-mails, interview dates, etc. The testimony of other people is also valuable evidence. Then, if you can put together a decent evidence file, ask him to review the decision after having sent him the timeline, if that fails don't engage further. Send it to the governors clerk. Finally, there's the legal option.
  8. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    You go straight to your union (please tell me you are in one). They are not allowed to retract a job offer due to pregnancy.

    Brixtonboy likes this.
  9. sanriku

    sanriku New commenter

    I left my union temporarily while in mat leave and then my school tried to dismiss me. Union couldn’t help - I went to yess law who gave very good and affordable advice.

    this is discrimination and your head is a fool to admit it. Good luck!
    agathamorse likes this.

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