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does my employer have it wrong regarding working whilst preg

(23 Posts)
ghostspirit Wed 04-Feb-15 18:03:27

hi im 28-29 weeks pregnant. i have lost track due 29th april. i want to start maternity leave on the 13th of april. although my last working day would be the start of the easter holidays. as i only work term time.

The main issue is my employer said from 11 weeks of my due date. they can say i (have) to take maternity leave. i did not think i (had) to. I said to employer i thought that was the earliest time, i could take it if i choose to. but i don't have to. she said that's only if they don't, have to make changes for me. and they have already had to make changes. im quite sure that they have to make reasonable changes so that im able to stay? do i have that right?

also what if i don't agree with the changes. one is really stupid. im not allowed to pick up a plastic chair.

oh and slight rant. im not allowed to pick up a plastic chair. but yet its ok for me to walk 4 miles to work tomorrow when there is a bus stike. no trains go near. but yet im not allowed to pick up a plastic chair ffs... thats last bit just a moan haha smile

floatyjosmum Wed 04-Feb-15 18:05:06

I thought they could only make you start mat leave if you were off sick due to pregnancy in the last 4 weeks

icelollycraving Wed 04-Feb-15 18:06:25

29 weeks is the earliest you can take mat leave. I think they can poss insist if they will pay you at 100% but I am quite probably wrong.

ShatterResistant Wed 04-Feb-15 18:06:54

I understood that if you had an illness that caused you to take time off work within 11? weeks of your due date, your employer can oblige you to start your maternity leave. (I say 11? because I actually thought it was 4 weeks.) But otherwise, I think you are right- 11 weeks before is when you CAN start your ML if you want to. (As you can tell, I'm not an expert- I'm sure someone is!)

BMO Wed 04-Feb-15 18:08:49

If you have pregnancy related sick leave after 36 weeks they can make you start ML early.

They cannot force you to go at any other time though.

aprilanne Wed 04-Feb-15 18:09:44

certain jobs they can say like nurses .jobs you may be at risk in .and yes if they cannot make adequate adjustments .you may not like it but they can .

Sixgeese Wed 04-Feb-15 18:14:00

Where I worked, we could start maternity leave from 29 weeks, but we had to start from 34 weeks unless we had a letter from our Doctor to say we were fit to work. It was detailed in the Company's Maternity Policy.

As I had (3) high risk pregnancies I never even tried to get the letter, and then DC1 was born at 35 weeks, so I was really please that I didn't try.

fadingfast Wed 04-Feb-15 18:16:41

You can decide when to start your mat leave at any time after 39 weeks, unless either the baby is born early or you are off sick during the last 4 weeks of the pregnancy.
If the nature of your job means that due to (genuine) health and safety reasons, it is not safe to continue with your usual duties your employer has to either find you alternative duties or put you on (paid) maternity suspension, which is not the same as maternity leave. Have they carried out a H&S risk assessment?
I suggest you contact the Acas helpline smile.

fadingfast Wed 04-Feb-15 18:17:14

Sorry I meant 29 not 39 weeks!

lostincumbria Wed 04-Feb-15 18:29:20

To clarify, the illness in the last four weeks has to be pregnancy related:

bbrisotto Wed 04-Feb-15 18:29:51

I'm due on the 28th and was 28 weeks yesterday so you would be 28 weeks today! I think they can only force you to take maternity leave if you are off sick too much during the end of your pregnancy. I'm using up annual leave for April and not actually going on official m.leave until my due date. (Presuming baby doesn't come early).

confusedandemployed Wed 04-Feb-15 18:33:54

This is the law:
If you are off sick from 36 weeks onwards your employer can start your mat leave. Otherwise they CANNOT.
If your employer is unable to make reasonable adjustments for you to work safely they must suspend you on full pay until your maternity leave is due to start.
They have definitely got it wrong.

confusedandemployed Wed 04-Feb-15 18:39:27

Sorry on phone, first bit should say if you are off sick with a pregnancy related illness from 36 weeks on they can start your mat leave.
The other bit is correct. Sounds good to me OP, just point her to that particular fact and you get suspended on full pay.
Something tells me she'll find a way for you to keep working.

ghostspirit Wed 04-Feb-15 18:47:51

smile confused yes i just spoke to the help line and they just said same as you. they either have to find me something or suspend me on full pay and its not part of my maternity leave. so as you say would be of no interest in them doing that

rallytog1 Wed 04-Feb-15 18:51:27

Your employer is wrong and what the pps have said is right. It's worth remembering also no company policy can circumvent what the law says - so even if they have a policy saying employees should go on mat leave at 29 weeks, it's not worth the paper it's written on. I'd politely suggest to your boss that they might want to take some legal advice!

confusedandemployed Wed 04-Feb-15 19:07:23

smile excellent glad you know your rights.
I work in HR and the number of companies / people who don't know their responsibilities / rights is astounding.
Good luck for the rest of your pregnancy.

JillyR2015 Wed 04-Feb-15 19:17:11

Good luck with it. I worked until I went into labour - almost 40 weeks. Don't let them force you to be home if you don't want to be. Pregnancy is not an illness for many of us.

ghostspirit Wed 04-Feb-15 19:53:10

ha i will leave if they want me to. on full pay of course smile

whatawhoppa Wed 04-Feb-15 20:08:34

If the job is unsuitable and they cannot accommodate you, then they have to suspend you on full pay. It does not affect your rights, it will not go on your record and cannot be used against you in any other disciplinary actions further down the line. As others have said further up, they can only enforce it if you take time off for preg related illness, even then it is after 35 weeks or so.

Didactylos Wed 04-Feb-15 23:14:59

I had a slightly out of touch boss try and tell me a similar 11 weeks thing last year: I think it was a rule from a previous set of guidance that if you had sick leave related to your pregnancy within 11 weeks of your due date that they could ask you to start your maty leave then

however that is very much no longer the case! I had my union send me the appropriate guidance and dumped it on my bosses desk with a cheery post it highlighting that times had changed. Please get some advice - helpline or union and take documentation of the current position with you, it sounds as though they are confused and need brought up to date

Stripyhoglets Thu 05-Feb-15 00:28:37

YEs, it used to be that if you were off sick 11 weeks before your employer could force you on sick leave. Now it's 4 weeks before as others have said.

Stripyhoglets Thu 05-Feb-15 00:29:26

*Force you on Mat leave

Sn00p4d Thu 05-Feb-15 00:31:13

They can't enforce mat leave until 36 weeks. I've been off since 24 weeks "sick" despite trying to return to work, high risk pregnancy & high risk environment they didn't want me back, still didn't start mat leave until 36 weeks though!x

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