Work is – as ever – restructuring. In the past this has never particularly bothered me. I’ve always been a reasonably high performer, and, if the worst came to the very worst, I’d be happy enough to take redundancy money and get a job somewhere else. I’m pretty employable.
But this time is different. I’m very worried that when I tell them I’m pregnant, suddenly this will be an excuse a) to avoid paying me maternity pay and b) to avoid any awkward flexible working arrangements down the line. I know legally they’re not allowed to make me redundant because of pregnancy, but if they’re making cuts anyway, it wouldn’t be too difficult to “justify” why my position is no longer open.
Last week I saw my mentor – an old manager who I catch up with every month or so to talk through any work issues or sticking points with projects. She’s a rare combination of someone who is both extremely good with people – and frighteningly good at her job.
“Congratulations!” she said. And in the very next breath, “Don’t tell anyone.”
She too thinks that (although it’s disgusting) there’s a chance this could affect my future employment with the firm, which is terrifying. She’s a mother herself and has seen first hand how the industry treats working mothers.
I’ve always been sensible financially, but it’s worrying to think the firm could just pull the rug on me, send me on my way with six weeks’ pay... and that’s my lot. And of course it’s not easy to find a job when you’re pregnant – and you can forget any kind of company maternity leave.
It IS worrying.