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07 Jul 2010

Is it fair?
The girl I work with went on maternity leave, we got sum1 in to stand in for her. She came back and the temp was not released bcos they wanted to c if there might be a role that could be created for her as at the time they wanted to expand the department. A lot happened between then and now but the bottom line is that management doesn’ t like the old lady and they want to get rid of her. Both ladies report to me. The “ old”  one is not a friendly person, she just do her job and that’ s it. The temp is blubby and speaks to everyone and everyone seems to like her. Ito work they are both not perfect, have their strengths &  weaknesses as we all do!. The “ old”  lady has not been ok lately, emotionally, I find she makes too many errors and I decided to speak to her. She confessed she is not happy and is looking for other employment. She is not stupid she can see they don’ t like her and want her out. My boss is aware of the level of her performance and is pressing me to use that excuse to get her out!
Being her supervisor I admit she is a bit difficult BUT is it possible she is rebellious bcos of the whole arrangement? Imagine I go on maternity leave and when I come back the person who was meant to do my work while I am away is retained? How would it feel? I seem to understand why she feels this way. The whole thing is awkward. I have had to re arrange her tasks and allocate responsibilities to both of them !!! Management agrees we don’ t need both of them but they want a way of firing her and appointing the temp permanently… The biggest problem for me is that I am not comfortable with hiring the temp permanently and I feel I’ d rather keep the old lady until she decides to go and get someone more competent and I also don’ t think its fair the way they are handling the situation. How do I handle this? The performance appraisal is due in 3 months, they will rely on my assessments of both to make that decision, obviously assuming I will complain about the old girl’ s work and give thumps up for the other! Should I just go to HR and tell them straight how I feel? My boss’ s mind is made up about her and I don’ t think she want to discuss this matter anymore but im really bothered and I want to do the right thing… 
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

It does sound as though the whole matter of her maternity leave has been badly handled, doesn't it ? But while that might understandably bother her, she shouldn't let it drop her performance so badly as to give them an excuse for getting rid of her, and could surely make an effort to be a bit more pleasant to others ?
Surely you need to disus all this with HR right now, to plan a fair and sensible response. And maybe ask them whether the "old" employee might not have a case to take to a labour lawyer or suchlike, about how her maternity was handled ?
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