I think at this point it is fair to say that I am pretty much counting the hours until I can go on maternity leave. The whole commuting thing really isn't working for me and I think a month of daytime TV before the baby is born would do me the world of good (maybe having some sort of anaesthetic value with a cumulative build up?).
Anyway, I digress.... another interesting story in the press today about working mothers. The Times have published an article about how working mothers are effectively discriminated if they take career breaks and work in a system with salary tied to length of service. It raises the notion of whether ability to do a job well is wholly related to length of time having done it.
I hadn't really though about this until now. I am due an annual increment during my paid 6 months of maternity leave and I will get this backdated once my maternity leave has finished and I return to work. During those first 6 months I have full rights as an employee - pensions contributions, accrual of annual leave etc. However, during the optional second 6 months of unpaid maternity leave I become a non-person and don't have any rights as far as I can see it other than to return to an appropriate post in my organisation (note - an appropriate post - not necessarily the one I had before going on maternity leave). The law in the UK is changing and the paid period of leave will soon increase to 9 months, but unfortunately as I will already be on leave when it comes into force - gutted!
So what would have happened if my increment had been due while I was on my second 6 months - presumably I wouldn't have got it until I restarted work, therefore delaying my progress up the pay scale?
I think it is important that salary reflects achievement rather than just tenure, this will mean than not just working mothers but also younger people who have not been in the job market for long will be rewarded for their contribution on an equal level to long serving staff members if that contribution is equal.