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Can't face work due to depression and anxiety and just found out I'm pregnant. If I quit my job will I be entitled to any benefits?

(7 Posts)
lillamyy1 Sat 16-Aug-14 12:55:15

It's a bit of a complicated story.
I came off my ADs a few months ago and have been finding life quite difficult since. Had to take time off work due to stress/depression at the beginning of last month and am now having therapy.
Things have slowly been getting better but my boss put me down to mornings only until I was ready to go back full time.
The complication now is that I've just found out I'm pg and I'm having horrible morning sickness which has brought back all my anxiety, esp about going into work.
I've been working in this job for nearly 2 years. I'm on a zero hours contract so even though my boss would be silly to sack me now I'm pg, he's not obliged to give me any work. It's a private language school and the student numbers are going to drop so significantly after 8th sept that my boss is going to get rid of half the teachers.
The way he decides who to keep on is based on performance - which in this case is basically 50% who he feels he can rely on and 50% who his "favourites" are. (Obviously he claims it's all based on who is most reliable but it's commonly agreed in the staff room that a lot of his decisions are based on whether he likes you or not!) I'm not one of his favourites and obviously have not been the most reliable employee and if my morning sickness continues I will continue to be unreliable.
I can't face the thought of dragging myself into work and trying to prove my worth doing this stressful job where I feel unappreciated especially now I feel sick and exhausted constantly.
The thing I'm scared of if I quit or try to get signed off is that I won't be able to afford the rent where we live.
I also don't know if I'll be eligible for incapacity or what the process is even. I'm really panicking at the thought of having to continue this job or losing everything. Please can anyone advise?

FreeSpirit89 Sat 16-Aug-14 14:32:12

No advice other than here to hand hold. I suffer with aniexty but I'm trying to get back into work.

Maybe make an appt with a benefits advisor. CAB may have them, sometimes the local council can help too. Speak to your GP too he may be able to direct you to someone who can give you more help.

SilverStars Sat 16-Aug-14 15:46:47

Hi agree that seeking advice is helpful. Maybe post on employment/money area of MN as people there may know about legal/benefit areas.

I would have thought that being made redundant would give you more access to benefits than choosing to resign. I vaguely think if resign voluntarily you cannot claim benefits for a set amount of time. If you get made redundant due to need to reduce staff that is a different matter I think.

Also you would be entitled to maternity pay of stay in job and can start as early as about 29 weeks. How many weeks are you?

Why not go and talk to your gp and therapist for advice. You can ask your midwife to refer you to a specialist mental health midwife if your areas have them to support you if you not well enough to work perhaps or of it would help you.

If you stay in employment you can claim maternity pay. Otherwise depending on your income/ NI paid etc you can claim maternity allowance but you have to have worked a certain number of weeks to qualify - why not find this out. A friend was short by two weeks and lost 400 a month due to this. There are particular rules for claiming so good to read up and know.

lillamyy1 Sat 16-Aug-14 22:17:58

Thanks everyone smile
I'm very early on so SMP isn't an option yet.
Will definitely talk to my doc about midwife who specialises in mental health issues.
Thanks again thanks

lougle Sat 16-Aug-14 22:24:58

You'll definitely qualify for maternity allowance because you've been employed for 26 out of the 66 weeks before your baby's due date.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 16-Aug-14 22:25:59

Yyy get as much advice as you can. Citizens Advice perhaps?

And yes, hold on for redundancy. If you leave your job of your own choice, you can't claim unemployment benefits for 26 weeks. Whereas if you're made redundant, you would be fine on that score.

Awful situation, I do feel for you.

Just a thought, I don't know how zero hours contracts work, but if your boss is wanting to get rid of people, perhaps he would make you redundant now, if it doesn't cost him anything. I don't know if you would get any more than statutory redundancy pay, so you may be able to get out of there quicker rather than hanging on, if thats what you want to do.

But I could be talking out of my bum and you do need proper advice.

Can you join a union? (unless you're in one of course, in which case they're very good for advice).

Iwasinamandbunit Sun 17-Aug-14 10:01:48

Best place for advice is the ACAS telephone helpline. A union won't usually take on a current case.

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