Employer putting pressure on me

(8 Posts)
Missguided27 Thu 14-Nov-13 05:19:59

My employer has contacted me and basically asked if I plan to return to work after my maternity leave is over. I am four months into it and would love to be able to take a full year depending on how we cope financially. But my understanding is that they are not allowed to ask if I plan to return to work or not, so what, if anything can I do about it?
It has made me fret about work and returning when I feel my priority is my DS at the moment, not being awake in the small hours worrying! I still have plenty of maternity leave left so don't appreciate them putting pressure to make a decision now, I mean, what if I say I do/don't plan to return then change my mind?

Thanks in advance x

Rainbowshine Thu 14-Nov-13 06:15:16

It sounds like no formal process has happened re your maternity leave - you should have a letter confirming your return to work date.

The law is that the employer has to assume the employee is returning after 52 weeks.

This is from the CIPD:
Employers should assume that employees will take all 52 weeks of the SML entitlement unless notified to the contrary. Employees may wish or need to return earlier than the date they originally notified, especially when the paid portion of the leave ends, in which case the employee should give at least eight weeks’ notice unless the employer agrees to shorten this period.

How did they contact you? Was it in writing? If so a well worded letter in reply may be in order!

Missguided27 Thu 14-Nov-13 14:55:56

It is a new boss whom I've met only once. She contacted me by phone, presumably so there is no evidence of her asking as I'm sure she knows she isn't supposed to ask, it's just her word against mine. She has also asked my team whether I ever told them my plans for returning to work after maternity! Apparently the women who is standing in for me whilst I'm on mat leave wants to know what's happening to her but she took the position on a temp basis so she knows the deal as far as I'm concerned. Thing is I didn't want to have to think about returning to work till nearer the time, I want to enjoy the time with my DS as he is growing so quickly.

TheTruffleHunter Thu 14-Nov-13 15:11:42

So just tell her you haven't made a decision! Is asking a reasonable question (particularly if it's a small business) really putting that much pressure on you?

redskyatnight Thu 14-Nov-13 15:45:41

I realise she's not legally allowed to ask, but just treat it as a casual question (have none of your friends asked how long you plan to take off work?). If you don't know yet, then just say that. If you do know when you want to go back, equally no harm in saying so.

Missguided27 Thu 14-Nov-13 21:04:30

Why should I turn a blind eye to it if they aren't legally allowed to ask? Would they turn a blind eye if I did something illegal? I think not. It is not a small business, it is a very large company who haven't even been bothered to get in touch regarding my maternity pay or anything despite me following the rules about notifying them of my pregnancy. My DS isn't even three months old and work should be the last thing on my mind!
Thought I might get a bit of support from fellow mothers but obviously not...

wimblehorse Thu 14-Nov-13 21:52:25

I wonder if you're putting a lot of the pressure on yourself here, rather than employer. I don't think anyone has been unsupportive here. No, employers aren't meant to ask, but with both of my maternity leaves, I volunteered my plans. Changed my return date with #2 & just let them know as soon as I was considering it & made sure I notified them at the right times.
If it was a phone call, I would treat as a casual enquiry & say your plan is to take the year off & you'll let them know if/when anything changes. IIRC you have to give 8 weeks notice of a change.
If they DO start trying to pressure you into a more formal definite date, that's when you should let them know you're aware of your rights & suggest they run communications past their HE team...
Good luck & try not to stress - you've still got up to 8 months left :-)

NomDeClavier Thu 14-Nov-13 21:56:02

She shouldn't have done that and I'm not surprised you feel upset, but 1 phone call from a new manager isn't really putting pressure. You can just say you plan to take the full year plus tag your holiday on the end but will let them know with appropriate notice if you plan to return at a different time.

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