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Work being difficult! help me!!

(42 Posts)
emmajbxxx Wed 18-Dec-13 12:09:52

I am currently 19 weeks pregnant.
Work for a large well known salon chain as receptionist, have done so for 3 years. Used to be manager but resigned due to poor management and boss causing me too much stress.
Informed my empolyer of my pregnancy at 4 weeks as i was woring 63 hour weeks and my hours were changed(they werent happy)
Since then we have had a new manager start.
We are open until 8pm, and as it is my job or hers to close we usually get out by 9pm. I told my doctor this was affecting me as i have has severe sickness all way through.
My employers are now saying they need me to work most evebings and are demanding to speak to my midwife.
They also have demanded to look through my green notes to check my appointments as if i am making them up.
Recently i was told by various members of staff that my new manager had been slagging me off to other members of staff that she didnt see the point in me being here as i have extra lunches and work no evenings. This is causing me so much stress, i hardly slept at all last night worrying about it and its making me feel 1000 times worse!
What can i do?

emmajbxxx Wed 18-Dec-13 12:11:38

Also, my manager called me last night to tell me that my area manager is coming down today to look through all my notes, and if i didnt have them i will be in trouble! just asked me to phptocopy the back of my notes with appts on, is this allowed?! Actually looking forward to going on maternity, i have worked so hard for this company and this is how they repay me?!

Mabelandrose Wed 18-Dec-13 12:14:30

Legally you are entitled to time off for appointments. I would say that your notes are confidential and they do not need to see them. In addition, your midwife will be unable to share any personal information or even acknowledge you are her patient, so don't worry about that either.

Speak to your gp about your hours? Or citizens advice?

WipsGlitter Wed 18-Dec-13 12:38:01

I think they can ask for proof of your appointments, but cant' look at the notes themselves. Did/do you work until 8/9pm every evening?

Cariad007 Wed 18-Dec-13 12:38:11

They're talking through their arses - by law they have no right to look through your notes or speak to your midwife. She will be aware of this and is bound to refuse to share any of your information with them. They sound like absolutely fuckers tbh, and if I were you I'd name and shame the chain they work for.

hubbahubster Wed 18-Dec-13 14:17:00

In your favour – as you work for a big chain, go straight to the higher-ups (not at local level) and tell them clearly about how you're being harassed. You could take them to the cleaners at a tribunal and they'll know it, so they'll come down hard and fast on your manager.

They don't have any right to see your notes as they're confidential. Be really helpful and positive and say OF COURSE you're happy to get them confirmation of your appointments, but your medical notes are personal and it would be illegal for them to demand copies. And smile… ;)

emmajbxxx Wed 18-Dec-13 15:34:38

I called my doctor but he said they were unable to make me exempt from evenings, but surely its unacceptable for a pregnant woman to be getting home at 10 and eating dinner that late?
WipsGlitter..... they want me to do 3 nights a week until 9pm, but because its a salon, sometimes styliosts run behind and i could be here until 10 before i even leave.
He now just wants me to photocopy the back page with appts, is this still legal?
Their a family run business and the HR department is the CEO's close family friend, not exactly impartial and on my side!
Ive been on the phone to my GP in tears, and now got an emergency appt for friday. Has anyone else's doctor made them exept from certain shifts?

Thanks for all your help im new to mumsnet but cant believe its taken me so long you guys are amazing!!

tinselkitty Wed 18-Dec-13 15:41:51

They can ask for evidence of appointments, be it letters for scans or MW appointments (I'm guessing these are in the back of your notes)

However, they have absolutely no right to look at your notes. In fact I'm pretty sure if they are querying medical things it needs to be passed to occupational health.

In short copy the evidence of appointments and tell them to fuck off with the rest. Also tell them if they demand to see your notes far from you being the one in trouble for not showing them they will be in a great deal of trouble for demanding them!

twinklexx Wed 18-Dec-13 15:43:45

you do have to provide proof of appointments if requested. also you have to be reasonable about time off, e.g don't make an appointment that means you can't work all day.

i am afraid i can't help on the rest regarding hours

stowsettler Wed 18-Dec-13 15:48:45

This is what you are entitled to:-

1. Time off for appointments. It's reasonable to show your employer your appointment card but completely UNREASONABLE of them to demand (hah!) to see your notes.

2. A pregnancy work risk assessment. This should happen at every stage of your pregnancy (i.e. when the previous risk assessment is no longer valid because of your advancing pregnancy). This should be a co-operative process and you should be involved. It is NOT enough for them just to do it and present you with the findings.

At this work risk assessment, it's your chance to put your case forward to explain why these late shifts and long days are detrimental to your and your baby's health (and how could they not be?).

At your appointment tomorrow it may be that your GP feels that you are being put under so much stress that they will issue a Fitnote stating that you are, for example "fit for work for no longer than x hours per day" - or something like that which will effectively exempt you from these long shifts / late nights.

It is illegal to discriminate against you because of your pregnancy. It contravenes the Equality Act of 2010 and, as it sounds like you have been there for several years, you would (on the face of it) have a cast-iron case to take to tribunal. Neither can they count sickness absences relating to pregnancy as they would a normal sickness absence. It is illegal.

Your employers are on very dangerous ground. Read up on your rights and I hope it goes well for you.

hubbahubster Wed 18-Dec-13 15:49:23

Ahhh I could see how that would be difficult.

I work in an industry where some working late is inevitable because of deadlines. I think the difference is, my bosses' approach – they're always grateful when people stay late to get the job done and say thanks, rather than bitching about their staff openly! Maybe a meeting would be appropriate, and you could reach a compromise? Agree a couple of late nights but point out that in your case, the extreme nausea is tough. Also calmly but firmly point out that employers do have certain legal responsibilities to their pregnant employees and they have to fulfil them.

It seems that the attitude is what upsets you more than anything, as you've worked there happily for so long. Perhaps point this out too – you've done more than your share and it's not unfair to expect a level of respect rather than the unfeeling remarks you've had.

emmajbxxx Wed 18-Dec-13 15:53:40

if my doctor writes anote about hours they will just make sure i start later but still cover the evenings which is where i struggle. Im sure you all understand the fatigue and thats what will worsen with the late evening working. Ive only had one risk assessment at 4 weeks, so will request another one.
I will also tell him about my manager saying i will be in trouble regarding letters notes etc..... How dare they?
I will photocopy only my back page of notes, he's in at 5.30 so wish me luck and i'll let you know how it goes {hmm}
Thanks everyone again! xxxxx

twinklexx Wed 18-Dec-13 15:55:33

oops x-post

have they done a risk assessment? that could address late working?

stowsettler Wed 18-Dec-13 15:55:46

If it's the late nights which are affecting you so much, then make sure you tell your GP this. They will write an appropriate note (if they think this is the right way forward).

whereisshe Wed 18-Dec-13 15:55:58

stow is totally correct. Sadly this doesn't stop many pregnant women from being discriminated against.

You need to keep as much tangible evidence as possible about the situation and how they are handling it in case it gets worse - put things in writing and request them in writing in return. You should also contact maternity action for advice.

stowsettler Wed 18-Dec-13 16:01:26

Yes yes yes to keeping all the evidence, good point whereisshe. If your employers do become difficult you will need all the ammunition you can find.

emmajbxxx Wed 18-Dec-13 16:55:55

I know that in the risk assessment they wont agree to no late evenings as my new manager doesnt want to work them all, but when i was manager i worked the late shift every day, working 63-75 hrs per week!
I physically want to cry thinking about working until 8 or 9pm and then commuting home for an hour.
I feel they just want me out, timing my lunches, appts etc
x

stowsettler Wed 18-Dec-13 16:58:08

It's not about what they will agree to. It's about what's safe for you and your baby. This should be the only consideration. If it's not, then they are acting illegally.
Honestly, explain all this to your GP. They will (probably) agree with you and intervene with an appropriately-worded fitnote.
I have to say it sounds as if your employers are right wankers.

emmajbxxx Wed 18-Dec-13 17:04:17

They are wankers! i honestly have worked so hard for them over 3 years, and its awful. Ive done nothing wrong but be pregnant. Its a company run by men who have no idea what women go through during pregnancy.
Im kinding hoping he will say everything he shouldnt so i can sue theor arses haha, but agaian this is stress me and my baby dont need. He should be here anytime from now, actually cant wait to tell you all how it went! x

If you start later in the day you could work layer as you will be able to sleep in or rest in the morning? So you could compromise by agreeing to work late some of the week by having a start time of say 12 midday.

I worked until 8 months as a midwife with shifts often finishing beyond the finish time of 9.30 then getting home and often straight onto an early shift starting at 6.30am.

I think whilst it sounds like they are expecting a lot of you from your posts I'm not getting the feeling that you are willing to compromise and offer alternatives other than you must go home at a set time.

louise182 Wed 18-Dec-13 17:18:16

They have a right to ask for, and you are obliged to provide, appointment cards or some sort of proof of appointments. I used to photocopy the appointment page in my green notes.

They are not allowed to simply take your green notes and have a good read of them though! Employers cant access any of your medical records without your consent and if they feel the need they need to set out their reasons why, and request it formally. You don't actually have to say yes though!

Employers have to carry out regular risk assessments throughout your pregnancy and identify anything that may cause issues for you. I think they have to make allowances for extra breaks and alter working patterns or hours if that helps you. I think you have to be suspended on full pay if, and only if, they are absolutely unable to accommodate changes you need at work which i highly doubt is the case for you, they appear to be being awkward and not understanding!

Hope this helps!

emmajbxxx Wed 18-Dec-13 17:31:19

Dontletthemgetyoudown..... I have been very comprimising. I am supposed to have a full hours lunch and only take hal;f an hour as its convienient for them.
The other day my manager asked me to get on my hands and knees and clean the floor, im 5 months pregnant!
there are many instances i have comprimised and tried to be as helpful as possible, i have had severe morning sickness and not had one day sick, was signed off for a wek but still came to work!
x

Mabelandrose Wed 18-Dec-13 17:41:59

If cleaning is within your job role I don't think it's too much to ask you to clean at 5 months.

NatashaBee Wed 18-Dec-13 17:46:13

They sound very awkward, but you absolutely shouldn't be going to work if you're signed off as their insurance will not cover you for any accidents. Do you really want to go back after the baby is born?

louise182 Wed 18-Dec-13 17:49:34

Your 'job role/description' isn't important when it comes to pregnancy.
If you don't feel comfortable doing something because it is affecting your pregnancy in a negative way, whether it be scrubbing floors or finishing too late followed by a long commute, you shouldn't have to do it :-)

Employers HAVE to assist you and meet your requests along as it is within reason of course, and they can get in a lot of trouble if they refuse or make things difficult.

I assume somebody else can scrub floors rather than have a pregnant woman struggle? Late finishes can be shared out if not totally taken away from you? If they refuse, it is out of being purely awkward in my opinion smile don't let them get you down! X

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