Melissa is a senior employee working as asenior administrator in a team supporting the directors and senior management of a major engineering company – ARUM Ltd.
She has been employed there since leaving university in 2004 and has worked her way up to become a respected and valued member of staff. Her last appraisal was very complimentary and she achieved an exceptional rating.
In October 2012Melissa notified her line manager that she was expecting her first child and wanted to take Maternity leave. She indicated that she would take both OML and AML – beginning in December 2012 and returning to work in December 2013. This was agreed and all the procedures duly completed. However on her last day at work in December 2012, following a ‘baby shower’ her colleagues held for her, her manager demanded that she hand over the keys to her company car, leaving her with a long and difficult journey homeby public transport.
Following the birth of her baby Melissa kept in touch with the company and confirmed the date of her agreed return to work. However, on the first day of her return to work no one seemed to be expecting her. When she eventually managed to talk to her line manager she was told that her original team had been reorganized in her absence and that she would be transferred to another team. Melissa finds that the new job has very little responsibility and little decision-making. She has to refer all except the most trivial decisions to another colleague, who is a temporary replacement for a manager on sabbatical, whereas previously she was in a position to make decisions and advise senior management. She finds the work humdrum and boring; previously it was stimulating and important. Although her salary is the same as previously, and terms and conditions no less favourable, Melissa feels she has been demoted and that her career has been significantly stalled.
Disillusioned, she applied to move to flexible working so that she could spend more time with her baby – working three days a week. However her application was refused, as the Directors do not like part-time employees .