Friday, September 16, 2011

Case study: Negotiating a pay rise while on parental leave

Recently, a CareerMums user asked about requesting a pay rise while on maternity leave. It was the second time she had been on maternity leave around the end of financial year when her work awards pay rises. She mentioned that she had not received a pay rise in quite a while and if she missed out again, she would be earning considerably less than her peers.

Our view on the issue is the following: Pay rises in general come with performance appraisals. If you have every intention of returning, your pay rate should account for the hard work you have carried out before going on parental leave. Ask to view their performance appraisal guidelines first so you have the facts. Then ask. If you don’t ask, you won’t know – or in some cases, you won’t get it.

We recently received feedback from this woman on how she then handled the situation:

"I just wanted to update you on my progress with asking for a pay rise while on maternity leave. I checked the policy and then organised a phone call with my boss. I indicated to him that I would like a pay review based on my (very good) performance review conducted at the end of last year before I went on leave. I was advised that this would be taken into consideration and I would be advised of the outcome. Yesterday I was advised that I would be awarded a 4% rise (slightly over CPI for the year I think) which I am quite happy with - though I think if I had been still working and had a full year's performance review to help make my case it would have been better - but it's definitely better than nothing! Thanks for your advice regarding this - it gave me the confidence to ask!"

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