Salary/Merit increase for the period you were on maternity leave?
* No personal attack please and I'm simply soliciting subjective opinions on law/policy interpretation on this matter (not personal feeling or prejudice opinion). I do understand that some of you do not agree with this benefit or you didn't get your increase.
My HR told me that employees in my company will get a salary/merit increase, HOWEVER:
1. last time, I came back to work in June and my anniversary date is July 1. The HR said there is not enough performance in the past year since I came back (June-July1) where they can assess me from, so I am not eligible to get a review nor an increase.
2. the 2nd time, I'll be taking my maternity leave roughly from July 1 to July 1, and hence I won't be getting a review nor an increase as well either.
So, if makes me wonder, if I keep planning to have the 3rd or 4th kid near July, the anniversary date, I will be continuously missing out my regular review and increase and fall out or keep staying at the bottom of the salary grid. Is that right?
My HR told me, people don't usually time their maternity leave close to their anniversary date so they will miss the review/increase. She said, if I take my maternity leave from Nov to Nov, then there will be something for them to assess me from both year prior and after my maternity leave and hence, I will be receiving a review/increase for the whole year even I was partly on leave.
And I'm dumbfounded as I'm getting penalized for the timing of when I'm taking my maternity leave and merit increase is routinely given to all employees on the anniversary date (it's just a matter of how much based on your score). It seems to me that it is some form of discrimination.
There is another group of employees in my company, and their policy interpretation said that "the principle of no professional disadvantage should prevail for staff on maternity/parental leave and calculations should be based on the employee's work before and after the leave and performance prior to the leave may be a good indication of the merit increase for the leave period." So, they will get a merit increase even if they went on maternity leave exactly from anniversary date to anniversary date because the company will do the assessment based on performance from previous years.
I think the company should have the same view in treating all employees who take maternity leave? What's your experience?
I even called the Employment Standard Acts, but the lady just told me immediately without evening thinking or asking further questions: "of course you won't get any review/increase because you didn't work while you were on leave". I am a bit reluctant to believe her quick comment because in the ESA, it says "...if the wages for the job went up while the employee was on leave, or would have gone up if he or she hadn't been on leave, the employer must pay the higher wage when the employer returns from leave..." and "...employers cannot penalize an employee in any way because the employee took a pregnancy or parental leave".
Here is a relevant case regarding this issue (except that the employee has a union to fight for her, but I think it is the interpretation of treating employees who went on maternity leave that matters):