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32 weeks and want to stop work early - advice/pep talk please?

(4 Posts)
eepie Fri 09-May-14 22:56:26

I am 25 yrs old, 1st pregnancy and almost 33 weeks - have had an uncomplicated pregnancy & been pretty active throughout so far - I worked all through my 1st trimester as a nanny to a 1 year old boy and his 2 older sisters as I gave 2 months notice that I was leaving when I found out I was pregnant - didn't want to be working as a nanny throughout whole pregnancy and wanted to find a bit of a less intense & physical job/do something a bit different before I became a Mum myself...

I then I had a period of not working/doing casual work for someone, but then took another casual job (kind of an informal internship) which was much closer to home when I was 4 or 5 months pregnant. They were happy to take my on whilst pregnant as they didn't want to pay more than minimum wage, didn't have a set number of hours for me at first, and don't really have a clearly defined role for someone yet, they just needed a bit of support (admin, PA, PR, front of house etc) spread across their 2 businesses based on the same site. Started off part-time for the first month and then they asked me if I'd want to do more as they needed more help because other intern was leaving. I said sure - will just see how it goes but I should be able to work until the end of May (Baby due on July 2nd and wanted to give myself time to get things ready/rest/relax etc before baby comes.

But...I just came back from holiday and suddenly the work load has ramped up by about 50% as another staff member has left & no-one has replaced them...so I have been absolutely swamped this week with so many tasks spread across the 2 businesses and have been trying to manage my time/keep up with the workload but my body/brain is really struggling. I feel like I've suddenly been hit by a wall of tiredness, keep losing track of what I'm doing as I keep switching between tasks as emails come in, people ask me things, I answer phone etc - sure this is mostly pregnancy brain but also because I am kind of doing 2 or 3 jobs in 1 ! Plus I've been finding it very uncomfortable to sit in an office chair all day, no matter how many times I get up to go to loo, make adjustments, stretch my arms and neck etc...I still am feeling in pain in my ribs & like I'm all squashed hunched over the desk.

I really have a strong feeling that I want to leave earlier than the end of May - because I'm not being paid enough £ to put up with the tiredness/stress/discomfort & would much rather do 2 days a week (for a previous employer who has said she'd be really happy to give me a few days here and there & wants me to come work for her instead) or not work at all ! --- but now don't know how to tell them this as feel guilty to leave extra pressure on the rest of the team - keep thinking who is going to do all these tasks if I leave?? But I suppose it's not my problem, it's not my business & I'm not a permanent member of staff. And they are currently interviewing for a new intern. I just really wanted to show them that I could do a really good job as wanted them to remember me for in future - didn't want to burn bridges or be remembered as 'that pregnant woman who left early'.

Wondering how I can word it when saying I want to leave/when I should mention? As soon as possible ? I was planning to leave end of May but to be honest I'd be so happy if I just worked next week and that was it !!! Especially if this heat wave from beginning of May rumours turn out to be true. Sitting in front of a computer sweating, and sweating walking on the commute to/from work 5 days a week whilst heavily pregnant sounds awful to me & if I was being paid well or I'd been in this job for a long time I would put up with it but it just doesn't seem worth it to me...Plus there's no role or proper salary for me to go back to after the baby.

Or - evil thought - should I just lie and say I went to the Dr and he said my blood pressure has significantly raised and he advises I stop work as soon as possible ?? Arg Is that awful to tempt fate? It would be totally untrue as Dr actually said I have low blood pressure. Eeeeek terrible lying...?

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Fri 09-May-14 23:07:38

Legally you can start mat leave any time in the 11 weeks before you're due. So you could stop now if you wanted to.

But your company is entitled to ask for a notice period if you're making any changes to your dates (it's 4 weeks at my company). You would probably need a drs certificate if you wanted to stop earlier with no notice period on medical grounds.

That said, I'm 33 weeks and only doing 2 more weeks in the office. I changed my dates to bring them forward for much the same reason you describe. They didn't bat an eyelid, I just had to show them a handover plan for everything I was working on.

eepie Fri 09-May-14 23:18:55

Do I still have to give them a notice period if I have no formal contract of employment, if they're not paying me maternity leave and if I am not returning to work for them after the baby is born ?

We have never agreed upon anything except verbally me telling them "I can probably work until the end of May" -- since then I feel like they've just been piling lot of responsibilities and tasks onto me - more than one person is capable of doing in a 40 hour work week ! So I feel like I will be really leaving a gap if I leave soon...but mine and my baby's health and wellbeing comes first of course...not worth being miserable but I just don't know quite how to bring up the subject or word it so that they aren't annoyed. Or maybe I just need a bit of reassurance that they won't be annoyed/think badly of me...

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Sat 10-May-14 07:24:59

They'll probably be a bit annoyed regardless!! smile I've worked at my company for 13 years and they're a bit annoyed I'm about to disappear for a year!

Just go in on Monday and say "I've found the last couple of weeks really challenging with the pregnancy and the commute etc. I'd like to discuss bringing my last day forward..."

See what happens. If they argue just say something like "I know it's a bit earlier than usual but I really don't think you're getting the best out of me as I'm so tired and feel quite unwell. So I think it's for the best that I stop ASAP".

If you have no contract and no notice period then they can't stop you. And if they're going to think badly of you then that will happen regardless. I think you're over complicating things!!

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