I am the financial controller for a manufacturing company. I report directly to the MD. This year has been exceptionally stressful and the stress is just getting worse.

The company was sold in April to a Russian company. During the sale, the previous owner stripped us to our bare bones and the new owners were slow to regenerate us. Consequently this last accounting year is not pretty! In the last month the downturn has turned to exceptionally grotty! We have been ordered by the Russians to cease production and cut half of the work force. It seems likely the company will fail.

My role has gone from overworked to not even having the first idea where to start!

I am the only financial person on site, but have no input into the decisions of the company’s direction – this has always been held by the MD (power trip!). The MD is a non financial guy who is excellent at receiving questions, forwarding them to me for response and then changing my name to his to reply to the originator!

Before the sale there were all the usual due diligence hoops to jump through, which I dealt with as they were forwarded to me. After the sale my work load has at least tripled due to the additional reporting required by the new holding company. I have two admin support staff but no accounting support. I have requested additional accounting staff but to no avail – just the comment that there’s no money for it and I’ll handle things because I always do.

The MD has now gone off work with “stress” (too many e-mails to forward to me?!). The General Manager (MD’s No. 2) is also off with stress (for genuine personal reasons). We are leaderless and directionless. The MD has left me and the sales manager with all the questions he’s been avoiding from Moscow and the real problem of a failing business to contend with.

On top of all this I am pregnant! I have on more than one occasion said that the work and stress is too much under normal circumstances but with pregnancy and morning sickness to contend with too……But if I walk off site we may as well lock the gates and say game over because no-one can cover my job. I feel taken advantage of, abandoned and, quite frankly, like I’ve had two fingers stuck up at me.

I’m sorry this is so long winded but I need to get some advice, if only so I can feel like I’m getting some control back for me and my baby!

My questions are:
• Where do I stand with the stress issue – who is there that I can even pose the question too when top management have all gone home?
• Should I look for another job now?
• Where do I stand with prospective employers?
• I’m only 9 weeks pregnant so not showing yet but, am I obliged to tell them? I’d feel almost dishonest not telling them, but couldn’t blame them for not taking me on.
• What other options are there to me?

Any help, please, is most gratefully received.

Dawn Powell

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