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A maternity returner story from one working mother

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A Maternity Returner Story From One Working Mother

We have been speaking with so many working mums about their returner stories, the good the bad and the ugly stories. We will be featuring returner stories all through November 2018. So if you have a story please contact us on

A Mortgage Advisors Maternity Returner Journey

When I returned to work after a year away to have my child, I was unfairly and not within industry guidelines, stripped of the competency status I had previously held. Their reasoning was that having been away from work for a year I was no longer competent in a role I had performed for over 5 years before I had my son.

This meant I was expected to fully re-train for the job, stay over in different cities, away from my child for the first time. I felt for the first time in my career a sense of unworthiness. I saw people who had only just started the role attending the same courses as me and, more importantly than that, being paid more than me.

Within a month of my return the company I was told I wasn’t going to be eligible for a pay rise that was being applied to everyone else with the same level of experience as I had. I got the pay rise and the back pay authorised on the day I left, which was 5 months after I had raised it with my line manager. In the end I got so fed up of asking for what I felt I was entitled to I had to leave.

Mine is not an unusual story unfortunately and the effects that these situations have on finance are real, not just in that period but also in the long term.

I was lucky enough to have a strong group of people at home who I trusted and who helped with childcare and everything else that needs to be done to run a house, raise a child and work (full time not part time because a mortgage adviser role can’t be done part time… apparently). But many women live in situations where they are the one doing the lion’s share of everything, childcare, house work, food shopping. It may not be politically correct to assume every woman returning to work is in that situation but I know many women who ask me “how do you have time to clean the house? Who has your child tonight, is your husband babysitting?” etc.

It’s not hard to imagine that for a single parent, going through a situation like I faced on my return to work is untenable. If you are the one running EVERYTHING at home, what happens? You may not fight for what you deserve because you don’t have the back up at home to support you, therefore you don’t get what you deserve, you never try for promotion or even dare to think that you can do better for yourself financially. Then it becomes serious, you can’t afford to save, or to put into a pension and the whole thing spirals out of control. All because you dared to have a child….

Learn more about our #LeaveLoudly #ReturnerCampaign here
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