Yesterday, I spoke with a a highly qualified and experienced woman who is being treated badly by her well known employer. Prior to going on parental leave, she negotiated (in writing) a 4 day week. On her return, she was told that the person filling in for her role had been doing a great job and she was no longer required to work in that position. They offered her a more junior role (a role that had orginally reported to her) but at the same salary level she was currently on.
Very cunning indeed. They know they are doing the wrong thing but have attempted to smooth it over by offering the same salary for a more junior role.
This example highlights a few things about this employer:
- They are not looking after the career development of employees;
- They are potentially in breach of the anti-discrimination act - now this woman is a mother, her career is no longer important;
- They obviously don't care about loyalty when it comes to their employees;
- They are not aware of a well publicised skills shortage in Australia.
The woman was very angry and disappointed with her employer. I recommended that she pursue one of two paths;
- Firstly, take the more junior role and settle back into the workplace. Use them while she prepares to springboard herself into a better role.
- Find a better role now with a better employer.
I also suggested that when she finally leaves this employer, she should outline potential breaches of employment and discrimination law in the resignation letter (start with www.fairwork.gov.au) as well as a breach of trust. This letter should then be given to her manager, and her manager's manager. It is then a formal document on record.