I have been offered an interim role to cover maternity leave.

The interim role will be for 6 months. It will involve more day to day tasks. This includes monitoring of team members and tasks and more weekly/monthly meetings. It is a management role of a small team. I am currently a team member in the same team. In my company, there is a relatively big difference in salary ranges for these two roles.

This interim role does not come with a pay raise. I work in tech.

Is this common practice with interim roles to not offer a pay raise? Does it depend on individual companies or industries? Should I try to negotiate a raise or even an end of year bonus for successfully running the team for that duration?

With the increased level of work required, I think it is unfair to not receive a temporary pay increase/bonus. The only benefit of taking the role without a pay increase is that successfully running the team would definitely put me in the first place to become a team manager in the future on a department wide basis. I enjoy my current role and I am happy with my current salary. I think I am a capable of leading the team also.

I think this question and the answers given are pretty close to what I am asking and I found it helpful. I decided to post this question anyways because of the duration of the interim role which is almost guaranteed to be 6 months.

6 Answers 6


I suppose you could ask for more temporary compensation because it will be more work for you.

But you might be better off just working hard and showing off your abilities. That could put you in line for a bonus, promotion, and/or salary increase.

The latter is what I would suggest.

  • Thanks, the quote from Moneyball is ringing in my head: "I made one decision based on money in my life—when I signed with the Mets rather than go to Stanford—and I promised I'd never do it again." However, I don't want to be taken advantage of either.
    – atw
    May 18, 2022 at 9:40
  • So your recommendation is to do the extra work for no tangible reward, work extra hard at it and hope that someone senior notices you can be exploited at no cost?
    – quarague
    May 18, 2022 at 10:44
  • 2
    @quarague Just to echo Joe a bit, there are going to be workplaces where people would kill for a brief chance show their capabilities, and there are going to be other workplaces where you are going to be exploited. I suppose it's going to come down to if you're going to be showcasing abilities, or you're only going to be working harder. May 18, 2022 at 15:06

Yes, it is extremely common, at least in management or professional roles in the US. Compensation doesn't change due to short-term changes in responsibility, but often will be a prelude to future advancement. It is extremely common to give a person a higher level role without compensation on a trial basis ("Let's see how you do as a director before promoting you to that position"). This is mostly because no company ever wants to reduce a person's paycheck, which is what would happen when the other worker came back from leave.

Turning this down will place you in the "I do just enough to get by" category in the company. Taking it on will place you in the "I do what the company needs me to do" category. Only you can decide which one you prefer to be in.


If it were me, I would say something like: "I can take on those tasks if they are necessary, but that would leave less time for these other tasks I was expecting to do. Should we decide which of my tasks and which of this other employee's tasks should be deprioritized? If things go well we can still get to the most important tasks." Or take it a step further and say "I think it's a good idea that these particular tasks of mine and theirs be deprioritized."

I think this shows forward thinking, prioritization, as well as setting healthy boundaries for you, and your willingness to help out (in addition to getting less important tasks off your plate).


If this fits with your general career plans I would take the offer and try to negotiate some benefits for it.

You mentioned that doing this would put you first in line to fill a potential team manager role in the future. At the very least you should get this as a spoken statement from the senior person who would have to make that decision. Getting this in writing is very unlikely but if the manager believes you would be the most suitable candidate for the next open team lead that is useful.

Second you should try to delegate some of your work to your colleagues. Presumably both your current position and that of the person going on maternity leave are full time positions, expecting you to do both at 100% feels a bit too much.

You could try to negotiate a one-time bonus that reflects the salary differences between your current role and the one you are going to fill in. This might be contingent on an evaluation of your managerial work at the end of the maternity leave.

Negotiating a permanent salary raise is probably hard. Why should the company pay you more permanently if you only do the harder job for a fixed time?

  • Interestingly, I think if it fits in with your career plans I think you don't ask for benefits, and use this to showcase what you are capable of. They may, after all, decide to ask someone else to step up if it's going to be a hassle to change the pay situation. May 18, 2022 at 15:08

The only benefit of taking the role without a pay increase is that successfully running the team would definitely put me in the first place to become a team manager in the future on a department wide basis.

If you think it is worth it, this is your extra "pay" right here. You can argue that even though this has potential to boost your career, work should not be unpaid but it is very common because lot of times there is no clear boundaries on job description and "Additional duties as required" may just be expected. As long as it does not become a habit on either side, I do not let this bother me and look for value beyond monetary compensation.


I have been offered an interim role to cover maternity leave.

6 months is a long time. I suggest declining the role on those terms and just quietly wait to see if they offer you something extra. You don't lose anything and at least have a potential for gain.

Weigh that against getting some experience managing. Personally I wouldn't, I prefer to get experience AND be paid while getting it. Interim manager isn't worth much on a CV.

  • 1
    Why do you say interim manager is worth little on a CV? May 17, 2022 at 23:00
  • @MichaelMcFarlane because it's just covering someone which implies it wasn't not a full role, and it wasn't made permanent. So it's worth something but not much.
    – Kilisi
    May 17, 2022 at 23:07
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    The BIG except is for Steve Jobs, who became interim CEO of Apple and turned Apple into one of the biggest and most profitable company in the world. But, honestly, as we all know, only few people are as talented as Steve Jobs. May 17, 2022 at 23:46
  • 1
    An interim manager is a full role. You can't have someone doing half the management job for 6 months, if that was the case you'd hire someone to do the job properly for 6 months. May 18, 2022 at 12:57
  • @mattfreake sure you can, you just tell them to tread water and bring anything major to whoever is above them. You can even make them do their previous tasks, or some of them.
    – Kilisi
    May 18, 2022 at 13:02

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