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When to finish work?(9 Posts)
Hi, I'm nearly 25 weeks Pregnant & am a kitchen help in a cafe doing 16hrs a week which is two full days of 8hrs. I'm working in a dangerous environment, (slippery floors etc) & my boss hasn't done a risk assessment or does not worry about what I have to lift. I'm made to feel uncomfortable if I ask for help lifting or if I need to sit down for 5mins. I hardly get a lunch break in the 8hrs, if I do I get 1/2hr which usually ends up with someone saying "don't worry we'll cope you just sit there"!!! I am basically on my feet doing a physical job for 8hrs a day & even though it's only two days a week I suffer for the rest of the week because of it. I am nearly 39 & I have two girls to look after aswell, I am in turmoil as to when to stop working as I feel like when I go in I am putting my baby at risk & as I had a misscarriage before this Pregnancy I am worried sick. I dread going in & my belly aches & burns so much when I'm at work, I now have a bad hip as well. Do I give up now or try to carry on? Wish I didn't worry so much!!!
That sounds awful. Poor you. I know it's really hard to make decisions like this as we always worry about money and coping but the most important thing is to look after yourself and your baby.
Your boss doesn't sound very sympathetic but it might be worth trying to sit down and have serious chat with them and explain you need help with physical duties and will need more regular breaks. If they react badly or unkindly then it might be time to go! Look after yourself.
The other alternative is to go to your gp explain and get signed off as your employer will still have sick pay obligation.
I've just gone off work at 30 weeks (using a full year's worth of annual leave ie 6 weeks, with maternity starting at 36 weeks). I am tired with bad pelvic pain and have had a scare with the baby. A few people have made "oh, so early?" type comments - doesn't bother me. I know my body and I'm not prepared to risk my health or my baby's to be a martyr who works until labour. Every pregnancy is different.
Go off work as soon as you feel you need to. You can start maternity leave from 29 weeks. Do you have any annual leave you could use to tide you over? Personally I would prefer to do this rather than take sick leave but that is certainly another option.
Some good advice above. I just thought I'd add that as a pregnant employee you have additional legal rights, and employers have an obligation under Health and Safety legislation to do a risk assessment etc. You probably don't want to get into an awkward situation with your employers, but if necessary, you could politely request more frequent breaks, lower risk tasks or even try for more flexible hours. The HSE website should have more info on pregnancy and the obligations of employers. Worth a look. Good luck!
Definitely with marsymum on the risk assessment - while you are at work they are liable for any accidents you have there (whether you are pregnant or not, but especially now that you are pregnant). It seems to me that they don't understand their basic roles as your employer which is completely outrageous. Personally I would try and speak to them first about the risks you feel you are taking and then if they don't offer support I would leave - its really not worth yours or the babies health. Best of luck xx
I'm sorry you're being given such a hard time! It is unacceptable. You can ask your gp or midwife to write a letter requesting a risk assessment (I asked mine for this and they understood completely and wrote one straight away that specifically asked them to pay attention to the issues I was struggling with). If you give this to your employer and he/she refuses then you've started a paper trail which could come in handy later. At that point I would then ask my gp to sign me off sick. I think that if your boss is being unreasonable and is actually refusing to comply with the law, then you shouldn't worry at all about inconveniencing them, etc. You have to look after yourself especially if they're not going to. You can then start maternity leave after sick leave but they can't force you to start maternity leave until 4 weeks before the date you originally gave them for staring leave. I wouldn't take a financial hit to protect such an employer. Good luck! You are not in the wrong here at all! X
Thank you for all your advise, think I'm going to have to take my holiday & leave as there is no way I can do my job ATM & there are no other job's available for me where I work. I can't see my boss being able to do much to help & the other staff will never change, I'll be expected to carry on as normal. I am off sick this week with pelvic pain (which is prob down to working last week), waiting for Midwife to call me back so I can have a chat with her. Why do I feel so guilty about giving in?!!!!!
Don't feel guilty!! It's impossible to work in a physical environment if you are not supported. I am a physio - so physical but can take breaks and I struggled to get to 30 weeks both times (and I did not have a huge bump). Go sick/take leave/do whatever you need to do. I imagine with two other children your non work days are hardly a rest either xxx
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