Credit: Colin D via Unsplash

‘HR Nightmare’: Glasgow’s maternity cover job description sparks uproar

By Lucy Dunn

The detailed job post description stimulated mass discussion on social media, prompting the University to remove it.

A University of Glasgow job advert looking for maternity cover for a College of Arts lecturer in Modern Gender History has come under fire for its following description: “This post is to cover maternity on a month-to-month basis up to 9 months, or until the substantive post holder returns from her maternity leave, or in the event of her resignation, whichever date is earlier.”

The advert was posted on Twitter, where its detail was criticised for its insinuations about the lecturer’s plans following her maternity leave: “Is this worded to apply pressure to a new mum to either get back to work or resign?” 

One commenter, Sarah, said: “It exposes the post holder’s plans, and not to their advantage”, whilst James Burgos highlighted: “Everyone is rightly pointing out the resignation part, but also, month-to-month renewal for a lecturer position?! I know job stability in academia is grim at the best of times, but geez.”

Other people appeared to be left baffled by the irony in the fact that the job advert was for a post in gender history, with one person commenting: “Do you think it’s satire? I half wonder…”.

The job advert has been branded “sexist”, “anti-family”, and “entirely on-brand for Glasgow Uni”. Since the controversy spun out on Twitter, the University of Glasgow has re-worded the job advert, commenting: “We unreservedly apologise for the incorrect wording and for the understandable offence it has caused. The phrasing is not normal practice and in no way represents our values. It has been amended.”


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