My Boss is Going on Maternity Leave and I’m Taking Her Responsibilities

by Evil HR Lady on July 16, 2010

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I was wondering about something: my boss is currently pregnant and I was asked to replace her during her six-months maternity leave. This involves about twice the responsibilities and work hours on top of managing three people. What happens salary-wise in these situations? Should I ask for raise? Stay silent and hope that the end-of-the-year bonus will make up for the bigger workload?

Whatever you do, don’t stay silent.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Sabrina July 16, 2010 at 2:30 pm

I agree you have to speak up. This is business. If a client comes to your boss and says "Well our other vendor is scaling back their business temporarily, would you mind taking on some of the stuff they do for us?" Your boss is not going to just say sure and hope that the client gives them some Christmas Cookies at the end of the year. They're going to sit down and talk about how the client is going to pay for those extra duties that your company is taking on. You're your own business, you have to make sure you get paid for your work otherwise it's "out of scope." A cat for a hat or a hat for a cat but nothing for nothing.

Reply

Thomas Farrell July 20, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Staying quiet would be a bad idea, but it seems like a very reasonable request, so if i were you i would not be afraid to ask. The added responsibiity seems to be a substantial increase to your current workload and raise seems like a straighforward acomadation to that added responsibility.

I actually just read in another blog about how Al Gore stated that in a recent McKinsey and Company study, nonmonetary rewards were more effective at long-term retention and engagement as well as job performance. So you may want to ask for something of that sort, maybe you can use your bosses parkng spot.

Reply

HR Whiz July 20, 2010 at 10:15 pm

LOL, OK, first off, a six-month maternity leave. Where do you live! Maybe they meant six-week, but if it's six-months, I think a lot of wanna-be-pregnant families might be moving there.

Anyway, this truly is a double-edged sword. The rewarder in me says work your butt off during that time and hope the company does the right thing and recognizes her. I'm not a fan of someone coming in to ask for money for "extra" work they have yet to do.

But on the other hand, in more than one instance, I've seen someone step up and ask for money for what they are taking on and it was granted. Although I'd advise the company to offer a one-time bonus instead of raising that person's salary, because then it becomes an annual expense.

Reply

RP July 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Why the scare quotes around the word extra? I don't see how someone can take on someone else's work load without it being extra work even if it doesn't amount to more responsibility. Nor do I see what's wrong with having a salary discussion when a person's job changes.

No, they haven't done the work yet. That's the point. If you want someone to do more work you pay them for it.

Reply

Anonymous July 28, 2010 at 1:33 pm

I think the advice to breakdown the new responsibilities and ask about what type of compensation you will be receiving for taking on these new responsibilities is exactly correct. Managers hope that when they give you new responsibilities or more work you’ll just shut-up and do it without saying anything. Don’t do that.

However, you cannot come off like you’re begrudging the work and will only do it if you are properly compensated, if management gets that vibe from you they’ll just tell you to forget it and they’ll get someone else to do the work, even if they have to hire a contractor.

You have to make sure that they are aware that you are extremely excited about the opportunity and look forward to taking on the new responsibilities, once they understand that you want to do it you can bring up the increased compensation to account for the increased responsibilities. This doesn’t mean that you’ll get anything, but at least management will be aware that you expect something for the work you’ll be doing and they can’t take you for granted.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: