The article was published in The Globe and Mail on 2 August, 2020.

I’m on maternity leave and I’m planning to return to work in a few months. I recently received an unsolicited job offer from a competing company. I would prefer to go back to my current employer because I like my job and my coworkers, but I found out the person who was filling the maternity leave contract was laid off because of the coronavirus. So, there isn’t much certainty about what things will look like in a few months.

I’d like to have a meeting and find out what’s being offered by the competitor. In a perfect world, my current employer is able to match or beat what’s being offered. How should I navigate this situation?


There is no certainty for any job but generally employment is protected for employees returning from maternity leave. While the premature termination of the person back-filling your position could have been triggered by Covid-19, other factors may be involved and only your employer knows the full picture. The Canadian Human Rights Commission says “employees on maternity leave should be informed of any changes to their jobs.” So, I recommend finding out directly from your employer.

It’s your right to see what’s offered by your employer’s competitor but review the employment contract with your employer first. Is there any non-competition clause in it?

What matters most when considering a change of job and employer is being clear about what you want and value. Consider these questions:

1. Aside from the unexpected dismissal of your replacement, are there other concerns with your employer?
2. In addition to liking your job and coworkers, what other things do you like about working there? Does your employer provide the things you value most?
3. What is the ideal culture of an organization for you? Does it exist with your employer?
4. As for compensation, what do you feel you deserve? Are you aware about the pay range for this job and have you talked about an increase with your employer?

Answer these questions to see if you’re satisfied with your employer. If not, perhaps it’s time for something new. But if it’s only about money, speak with your employer. You might be surprised.

Carine Lacroix

Carine Lacroix

Carine Lacroix is founder and CEO of Reneshone, an Oakville-based HR company powered by facts and data which focuses on employee engagement for organizations of 5-3,000 employees.