I’ve mentioned my first miscarriage before, I know. But what I realized today is that I didn’t mention how fantastic my employer was at the time. And, technically, I’m not even employed by them.
You see, I’m a full-time contractor to my biggest, and currently only, client. That means that while on the surface of things I act like an employee in my day-to-day operations, I reap the benefits of being self-employed. And there are lots when it comes to tax.
What I don’t get, though, is sick leave. Or holiday pay. Or maternity leave.
So, when I found out I was pregnant last December David and I quickly went into ‘maternity leave’ financial mode. All money was headed to savings and we were gearing up for a 3 month leave for me. And then the pregnancy went quickly downhill.
In those first few weeks, I was also meant to attend an industry conference that was key for our organisation and the main calendar
event of the year. And when I called our company owner to ask if I could miss the event, do you know what he said?
He said that he would fire me if I attended. That the most important thing was for me to sit with my feet up and just rest.
Could you ask for more? No, I didn’t think so. And when I called to say that the pregnancy is over, he just simply asked how long I wanted to stay home for work. I only took one full day, since I felt better just being productive at work. But I’m confident that had I said a week that would have been ok too.
In return, I have worked my ass off for them and have extended that warmth and care in working with my colleagues in my office.
There’s a lesson in here for employers, especially in these hard economic times. Yes, business is harder to find. And yes, employees need to work hard to retain job stability. But, yes, you need to make it a place employees are willing to work hard for. And usually, it doesn’t cost you anything just to care about the wellbeing of your employees.