Mum-to-be takes to Internet to vent about boss repeatedly contacting her during maternity leave

A mum-to-be has taken to Reddit to complain about her intrusive boss pestering her on maternity leave [Photo: Pixabay via Pexels]
A mum-to-be has taken to Reddit to complain about her intrusive boss pestering her on maternity leave [Photo: Pixabay via Pexels]

Pregnancy can be a long nine months. And as any mum-to-be will likely testify, the last little stretch can be the longest yet.

Not only are you anxious about when baby might make an appearance, you’re also running through your check-list to make sure everything is ready. And of course you’re tired. Oh. So. Tired!

So the last thing you want to be worrying about is work.

But that’s exactly what one pregnant woman was forced to think about when her intrusive boss refused to stop texting her with work queries even though she’d already started her maternity leave.

Taking to Reddit, the woman explained that her boss had texted her on the first day of her leave to suggest she comes to work in the afternoon “if I’m bored.”

“Yesterday and today, my boss has been texting me like crazy. Yesterday she text and said if im bored I can come in and work the afternoon,” she wrote in the post entitled “boss won’t leave me alone.”

The user explained that as her parents then arrived she forgot to text back, but woke up to a snippy text from her boss the following morning.

“Today I woke up and with a text along the line of ‘Thanks for not texting back yesterday- totally cool,’” she continued.

“A few hours later she text me about something that happened on Tuesday. She couldn’t find something that I put in a cabinet and was pissed about it,” the user continued.

“I specifically remember putting it there, so if it’s not, someone must have moved it. What am I supposed to do about it?”

“She’s left me aggravated and every time my phone makes a notification, I panic that it’s her. I don’t go back to work until October.”

The mum-to-be explained that she had been so looking forward to going on maternity leave because she wouldn’t be expected to come in or answer any work queries.

Though she doesn’t mind being kept in touch about some goings on at work she feels as if her boss was going a little “overboard.”

And the Internet was keen to agree offering messages of support to the mum-to-be.

“The only response warranted in this case “I am on maternity leave”. Repeat as necessary,” one user wrote.

“You’re on leave, she shouldn’t me messaging you about work stuff anyway. Tell her you’re on leave and can’t help,” another offered.

Other users offered up experiences of their own pushy bosses.

“My boss was totally like this, even texting while I was in labour (!!) to see if she could drop by the delivery room (hell no!),” one woman wrote. “My solution was to just hand the phone to my husband and have him answer any and all texts with “Uhh, I don’t know, she’s busy with baby stuff now, I guess she’ll call after maternity leave?” I think it took four of those texts before she left me the hell alone.”

The mum-to-be should be taking it easy but her boss won't leave her alone [Photo: Josh Willink via Pexels]
The mum-to-be should be taking it easy but her boss won’t leave her alone [Photo: Josh Willink via Pexels]

So what are the rules regarding employer contact during maternity leave?

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) says an employer may make ‘reasonable contact’ with you during your maternity leave. ‘Reasonable’ is not defined but your employer could contact you about:

  • any changes or developments at work

  • social events

  • colleagues who are leaving

  • new staff

  • arrangements for your return to work.

The site goes on to say it would not be reasonable for your employer to make repeated and persistent contact to ask when you are returning to work as this could be considered harassment.

In order to avoid a similar situation occurring in the future, the commission suggests agreeing in advance the contact you will have while you’re on maternity leave.

“Think about what contact you want and have a discussion with your manager or Human Resources team,” the site says.

As an example they say you should think about:

    • How much contact you want and how you would like to be contacted, for example by email, access to your employer’s intranet, letter or telephone call.

    • What the contact should cover, for example about staff leavers, new staff, training events, social activities.

    • Whether you want to receive employee news bulletins.

    • When your annual appraisal should take place, if it is due during your maternity leave.

    • Taking part in any training.

    • Keeping In Touch days and your pay for such days.

    • Other information that you would like to receive.

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