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To refuse to travel to head office in late pregnancy?

(83 Posts)
ivanapoo Sun 21-Oct-12 20:37:00

Trivial post alert...

As part of my fairly senior and reasonably paid job role I am expected to spend some time in one of my employer's offices which is almost a 2 hour drive away - maybe three or four times a month for meetings etc.

As I get closer to my EDD (currently 32 weeks) I feel increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of being in the car by myself on such a long journey down mobile reception-free roads or on the motorway in case I go into labour etc. I'm also a bit concerned about tiredness as the commute turns my 8 hour day into a 12 hour day. I'm not crazy about driving at night either but that's another matter...

I'm due to work until 38 weeks.

WIBU to say I don't want to drive there after 35 weeks? Am I being precious? AIBU to want to work until 38 weeks but not fulfil this part of my job? Would a better alternative be to say I will travel there but want to leave early to get home at a reasonable hour?

While I don't think my employer would have a major issue with it, I want to appear professional and am sensitive to colleagues thinking I'm not pulling my weight because I am pregnant. I think i would feel guilty about suggesting it TBH - but I also want to feel safe and happy.

chchchchanges Sun 21-Oct-12 20:39:58

Yanbu. Your employer should do a risk assessment as well btw and travel should be covered by the risk assessment.

ecto Sun 21-Oct-12 20:40:57

Yanbu. If you want it provide another reason, you could say that driving with a massive bump is very difficult.

Nancy66 Sun 21-Oct-12 20:42:41

I think that sounds perfectly reasonable.

You're only talking about a three week period. If you offer to be available via Skype/conference call etc then I don't see why they would object.

IceBergJam Sun 21-Oct-12 20:43:14

I stopped a similar thing around 30 weeks. I am petite and my bump was squashed onto the steering wheel from the seat being far forwards. Dangerous and killed my back after driving four hours a day. I mentioned it at my fortnightly risk assessment and we decided I could teleconference , video link or screen share if required.

Would any of that work for you?

thekidsrule Sun 21-Oct-12 20:45:41


if you are that worried why not go on maternity earlier

its hardly every day,does sound abit ott

AntsMarching Sun 21-Oct-12 20:45:49

Yanbu. I found long car journeys very uncomfortable after about 34 weeks. I could stand about half an hour in a car, after that I got terrible back ache.

Toombs Sun 21-Oct-12 20:49:02

chchchanges is correct, they could legitimately offer alternative transport though, either train or send a car etc.

Numberlock Sun 21-Oct-12 20:52:03

Could you get the train and/or go the night before or get a colleague to drive you?

ajandjjmum Sun 21-Oct-12 20:52:03

But surely that's what maternity leave is for. If you can't do your job without discomfort, then you need to take it earlier? Or maybe travelling by train would be better?

Tigresswoods Sun 21-Oct-12 20:56:21


LadyWidmerpool Sun 21-Oct-12 20:58:01

Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

Lambzig Sun 21-Oct-12 20:59:45

I dont think YABU, especially if you are able to offer an alternative (conference call or travelling by train).

edam Sun 21-Oct-12 21:02:19

You sound very sensible to me. I imagine they've just not thought very carefully about the implications for pregnant members of staff - I'm sure if you point it out esp. in terms of risk assessment, they'd be happy to arrange train travel or a conference call instead.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 21-Oct-12 21:05:50

i think yabu if you dive in and straight away just say no not doing.

it would be perfectly reasonable to ask if other arangements or transport could be made.

ivanapoo Sun 21-Oct-12 21:06:09

Thanks for the replies - train not an option annoyingly as there isn't a station near the other office. I should point out I would still be happy to work in the local office the rest of the time (about 30 min commute).

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sun 21-Oct-12 21:07:53

I think yabu. If you are going to be at work then you should be able to do the job. When you get too heavily pregnant to be able to do your job, you go on maternity leave. I think this is especially true when you are on a higher salary level than the people who will have to cover you.

KirstyJC Sun 21-Oct-12 21:09:48

I think Maternity Leave is about looking after yourself and baby after birth, not about how to alter your job to allow for health/safety issues because of being pregnant.

No, you are NBU at all and I wouldn't have done this either. You should maybe ask for a risk assessment update (if not already due or done) and tiredness is a serious issue in late pregnancy and a huge risk to you and others. Driving tired is not safe! Not to mention the risks with sitting still for so long, blood clots etc.

I am sure if you offer some alternative options eg teleconferencing this would be fine. Good luck smile

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 21-Oct-12 21:13:00

if its a health and safety issue to travel then how are you getting to work in your normal office?

thekidsrule Sun 21-Oct-12 21:15:17

I think Maternity Leave is about looking after yourself and baby after birth, not about how to alter your job to allow for health/safety issues because of being pregnant.


there is a reason why maternity starts before the birth

KirstyJC Sun 21-Oct-12 21:15:56

I think the increased risk is with the extra time of the journey to head office - big difference between 30 mins each way and 2 hours each way! And also of course as she already mentioned, it means the OP is a lot further away from the hospital if she were to go into early labour. And working until 38 weeks is considered full term....

TalkinPeace2 Sun 21-Oct-12 21:19:22

very few places in England do not have mobile coverage
labour (first one anyway) takes HOURS
driving while heavily preggers - wait till the second one when you HAVE to keep going with a toddler

sorry, but I was still driving all over to work until three days before due date
I did refuse to go to Porton Down though.

if you are not up to doing your job, time to go on leave.

thekidsrule Sun 21-Oct-12 21:20:34

but op said its only 3 or 4 times she would need to do this

if op is finding the latter stages hard (to be expected) then she should go on maternity

or do buisnesses have to bend over backwards because op is pregnant,hadnt this crossed op's mind months ago

KirstyJC Sun 21-Oct-12 21:23:54

"Very few places in England do not have mobile coverage" - just us in many parts of Devon then!

Not sure businesses should 'bend over backwards' but they do actually havea legal (and moral) obligation to ensure the health and safety of all employees, including assessing and minimising any additional risks that might result from pregnancy, yes. And so they should.

thekidsrule Sun 21-Oct-12 21:26:01

well why hadnt op thought of this months ago

tad precious imho

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