High stress at work during pregnancy

Hi All,

I am 16 weeks pregnant and I am a store manager for a leading U.K. Fashion brand.

My team is a team of four members, myself the store manager in the company for nearly 4 years, my assistant manager in the company for a year and a half, a part time sales assistant in the company for 4 years and now my superiors have decided to employ a brand specialist for a salary higher than the sale assistant that have been great for those past years, which have been refused a promotion to senior and a pay rise. This new employee has a salary which is very similar to my assistant manager's one, therefore my assistant have now resigned due to this actions and the part timer is about to follow. Because of all this I will be left with the new starter and no senior employee until my maternity leave. The nature of the store business is very specific as we specialise in bridal, evening and couture wear so all the staff is infact a consultant, we also deal with fashion collectors with exact needs which now will have no one to rely on once I am gone. The company was fully aware of the emotional mood of the team once I told them that a brand specialist would have been employed, the part timer especially felt betrayed as a new position have been created in the company for this new starter but not for him (when I asked the promotion for this very productive sales assistant to senior, this have been refused by HR saying that such position did not existed in our company).

Now as a store manager my duties are to find the replacement and train them in a very short time, to be able to work once I will be gone. I now feel abandoned, betrayed and not heard by the company and need advise, I have discussed on numerous occasions with my union but seems to not be able to give me a proper advise of action. On top of all this I am worried for my job, baby and health as such stress could have been avoided by the company during my pregnancy. Please let me know your thoughts about it

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6 Replies

  • What a horrible situation they have put you in. I really feel for you and can't believe your union isn't being more helpful and supportive.

    Could you talk to your HR department about the situation and the stress its causing you? I take it, its the person you are responsible to who isn't listening to you? Do you have someone who deals with occupational health? Talk to them about your worries. Maybe you could get help and advice from Citizen's Advice Bureau as a last resort?

    Think carefully about how you are going to express to HR how you are feeling, write it down, draft and redraft it, so it is positive with helpful suggestions rather than negatively attacking them. Propose what they could do to help you. Is there anyone from another store that could cover your maternity leave that doesn't need training from scratch?

    I hope you find someone to help you out and try not to stress too much about it, at the end of the day its not your business, its just a job, the owners of the business should be helping to ensure the smooth running of your store while you're on maternity leave otherwise its their business and reputation that will be affected. Good luck

  • Thank you so much for your supportive and kind words. Sadly my HR department is the one I have worn in advance of this possible scenario if they made the decision to employ a new starter with a high salary. I will try once more to talk to my union, hoping they'll be more supportive. I know it is not my company and that they should have not put me in this situation to start with, but I really care as I invested a lot of my time and care in it and can't give up so easily. Thank you once more!

  • I completely understand the additional stress they have put you under. I've been through the same with my own job and ended up leaving.

    All I can say is, please, please, please.... put yourself first and your baby first. Having additional stress is just not worth it. I ended up having a miscarriage (although I cannot attribute it to the stress at work and workload) but I am sure it played a part. I would do anything to turn back the clock now. Always put your baby and yourself first and if that mean's going off 'ill' with stress until after maternity I personally think you should do that. You didn't ask for all these additional problems at work and I think you 'owe them nothing' as they are not helping you. I have sadly learned - you can't change some things after it's too late and there are always other jobs out there. Your health and stress for the baby are just not worth it xxx

  • I had a miscarriage too early this year and I cannot prove it was work related, but I am sure that the stress they put me on at the time, didn't help either. I am so sorry you had to go through such a painful experience I hope you are better now ❤️

    Thank you so much for taking the time to advise me, I'll probably make a decision soon as this is way too much I can take!

  • My advice would be to put the health of yourself and your baby first. Job comes second. I do understand that you need to work to earn a living and that you want to provide for your family but being happy is the most important thing in life. If your job is making you unhappy maybe it's time to re-evaluate. Is it possible to reduce your hours or find other employment that has less stress involved. I know living off a limited wage is not ideal but as long as you and the baby are happy that's all that matters. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy x

  • I wouldn't worry too much - just do your normal job, don't take anything extra on and refuse to get involved in any politics. If you can't find a replacement and full train them in time frankly it's not your problem. The company should have acted better to keep its current staff. No wonder people have left the atmosphere must be awful with this new person getting paid more etc

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