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To consider calling in sick

(30 Posts)
Secretmomma79 Sun 06-Mar-16 11:36:25

NC for this one to avoid getting busted. More of a WWYD?

9 weeks pregnant and struggling- on the bleurgh diet (eating whatever won't make me heave so basically beige food and apples), crushing fatigue... Nothing unusual in that respect.

I am a field based sales rep covering between 500 and 1000 miles a week, work get funny if staying away more than one night a week, and taking a full lunch break is frowned upon as we have call targets to hit. I've told my boss I haven't been very well of late (but not said I'm pregnant) so need to take it easy to avoid going off sick but this has been completely ignored, and leave request for end of this month has been denied (only one person at other end of country is off, whose presence has no bearing on my work). No TOIL for early starts/late finishes either.
I don't want special treatment, I just don't feel safe driving all these long distances- final straw was a 90 mile journey home taking 4 hours, veered between crying hysterically as I'd been up since 5am and wanting to quit in anger (but can't afford it). I seem to be stuck in some sort of traffic carnage at least 3 days a week and am sure the fatigue coupled with stress isn't helping little bean as blood pressure is a bit high already according to MW.

Not been to GP yet as diary is so ridiculous I'd have to cancel appointments which would draw attention to myself and in any case I'd have to self certify for the first week. Dreading another mental week but don't want to let customers down and feel guilty for considering pulling a sicky. No one would pick up my appointments, I'd just have to rearrange them, so the issue doesn't get resolved, just deferred (hopefully at the magic 12 week mark).

WWYD?

jaxtsoldlady Sun 06-Mar-16 11:40:43

Unfortunately I think if you don't want to disclose your pregnancy there isn't much you can do. I work in an incredibly physical job so had to tell my employers when I was 4-5 weeks pregnant to protect myself. In an ideal world I would have waited until the 12 week mark but it wouldn't have been safe. You may have to consider telling your manager earlier so you can have the legal protections provided for pregnant women put into place.

missybct Sun 06-Mar-16 11:40:48

Your employee has a duty of care to you during pregnancy, and I believe that any absence relating to the pregnancy is not considered in the general sickness policy a company has. Each company is different, but would be worth checking what your rights are as per your contract.

www.gov.uk/working-when-pregnant-your-rights - this is the Governments stance on maternity/pregnancy rights.

missybct Sun 06-Mar-16 11:42:47

Sorry, meant to add that exercising your maternity rights does of course mean informing your boss of your pregnancy, but at 9 weeks, this is quite common in workplaces.

squeezed Sun 06-Mar-16 11:46:49

This is the reason I told my managers early on in both pregnancies. Once they are aware of your pregnancy then you are more protected and have better grounds for asking for adaptations. You can ask your manager not to tell anyone else and ask for a risk assessment.
The first trimester can be exhausting even without an intense job so you really do need to take care of yourself.

Beth2511 Sun 06-Mar-16 11:47:32

Im 7 weeks and had to tell my employers already, its for my own safety as its a physical job.

You should tell them, they have a duty to pregnant women but they cant do anything to help if they dont know! I also found when i have had a miscarriage that my employers found put anyway, as i need time off so rhey may as well know

Hedgeh0g Sun 06-Mar-16 11:48:42

I would inform your boss. I decided to this time round, on the logic that I was only not telling people so that I wouldn't have to 'untell' them if something went wrong, but I figured that didn't really apply to work since I'd have to tell them anyway as I'd be off sick because of it.

strawberrypenguin Sun 06-Mar-16 11:49:10

Phone in sick for a few days - sounds like you need to. But you must tell your boss you are pregnant. They can't make the adjustments you need if you don't give them all the facts.

PotteringAlong Sun 06-Mar-16 11:50:57

Just tell them you're pregnant! You can't be cross they haven't made allowances for you if you haven't told them why.

Secretmomma79 Sun 06-Mar-16 11:59:13

Thanks for the replies and sensible advice. The reason I've been holding off telling work is that they do not have a great track record for being "family friendly". Some of my now ex-colleagues have been treated appallingly when pregnant/returning to work but because they pay people off there hasn't been any compelling reason for them to seek legal redress.

Sounds very petty but I was also wanting to leave the announcement as long as possible to make the management team struggle- I work very hard for very little recognition and I think they would only realise how much I contribute to the team and support my colleagues when I'm not around. They really take the p out of my good nature and willingness to do well and I have had enough. Finding out I was expecting has already given me a very different perspective on life and work.
I suppose I will just have to grow up, swallow my resentment towards management and tell them.

Gobbolino6 Sun 06-Mar-16 12:02:28

I had hyperemesis and had to tell work early. Theynwerent the most sympathetic but my consultant supported me and they were fime with me when I returned.

Yika Sun 06-Mar-16 12:04:55

I would call in sick without telling them of the pregnancy at this stage. You need to take care of yourself.

rookiemere Sun 06-Mar-16 12:10:07

Congrats on your pregnancy flowers.

So sorry you're in this situation.

What's your longer term plans? Are you planning to stay there after mat leave - to me that would determine my approach a bit, as they sound like awful employers.

MidnightVelvetthe5th Sun 06-Mar-16 12:10:39

I've worked for a company like this, I was admin & saw the same happen to the sales team & there was a culture of not having a lunch/high amounts of pressure/ etc If a team member was pregnant then not much changed tbh, the management had a stance of well its her problem, she was the one who got pregnant why should it impact on our figures etc

Before you do anything, have a think about whether you want to return to this role after your maternity leave ends. If your company are not family friendly then they are unlikely to support you when your child is ill or when you get the phone call nursery/school to come & pick them up. If you are miles away then it will all needs to be very organised.

Maybe have a think about different roles, I handed in my notice at the end of my maternity & I've managed to get another job, 5 years later without a reference as my company refuse to provide references for staff who left over 5 years ago (long story, divorce, relocation, sahm for 5 years). There are other options smile If you want to leave then take sick time, it must be beyond fucking awful driving those distances feeling sick.

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Sun 06-Mar-16 12:11:34

You need to accept that you need adaptations made and tell them you're pregnant. Yes it would be satisfying to leave it late and make it harder for them but there's no point making yourself ill for the sake of it, at the moment you're making it harder for yourself rather than them

popperdoodles Sun 06-Mar-16 12:14:30

I think you should tell them. I has a big bleed with my first before I had told them. I needed time off to rest and have scans so had to tell them. They were so kind and supportive and it didn't get shared with anyone that didn't need to know. With this in mind I told them straight away with subsequent pregnancies. They can't look after you if you don't tell them.

Secretmomma79 Sun 06-Mar-16 12:26:08

Thank you gobbolino rookie and yika flowers

mintvelvet you've described the attitude at my place to a T!

I would need to go back to work for a month or two after mat leave as I'd be totally skint from statutory pay (no additional pay so am putting all my gin money into savings! 😊), will want to use up the leave I will have accrued and in my line of work it's easier to get a job if you already have one IFYSWIM. I have considered doing something different but not sure what- am spoilt with company car, healthcare, a reasonable salary and the option of childcare vouchers. They're like golden handcuffs! But I am fast realizing that happiness and job satisfaction is more important than stuff.
Glad you managed to find another job, do you enjoy it more now?

Secretmomma79 Sun 06-Mar-16 12:27:59

Fair point notme
Oh gosh popperdoodles hope DC1 arrived ok? Must have been so scary for you.

MidnightVelvetthe5th Sun 06-Mar-16 12:37:48

I love it now yes smile I feel as though I have the balance right for me, as I work 22 hours per week so they are with the childminder 3 days per week but I can still pick them up from school twice a week & have time with them. It works for us.

I totally understand the other posters saying tell your employer but they may think that your employer will want to look after you when they find out. From my experience & from what you have said, it doesn't sound as though they would...they may make it even harder for you so that you quit & they can just replace you without having to worry about maternity leave etc. If you have a non family friendly company then you can easily be managed out of the door, I understand why you don't want to tell them.

I understand as well the lure of the car/heathcare/salary etc, at a time when so many people are in zero hours contracts & going to foodbanks its hard to leave a job. There's no rush, just have a think about whether you can or want to continue to work in such a high pressured environment when you have a baby smile the baby will always come first & your employer expects that your job always comes first, there's not really a compromise with such people...

Sophia1984 Sun 06-Mar-16 12:38:32

Just wanted to say, please don't worry that stress is going to harm your little bean - they're remarkably resilient, and the kind of stress that can harm them is more like being in a warzone (though I know from experience that commuting in early pregnancy can feel that way..)

Is there any way you can afford to pay for your own hotel for days when the travelling is crazy? Sorry to hear you get shitty maternity leave too. I'm going to have to go back relatively soon as well and it sucks.

Some practical suggestions - have you tried the travel sickness wrist bands? I also find tic tacs really good for morning sickness. It's maybe a bit early, but you could try listening to hypnobirthing CDs in the car to try and stay calm. Good luck for next few weeks! The sickness and tiredness does get better :-)

popperdoodles Sun 06-Mar-16 12:39:39

Yes, thankfully all was fine but it was a scary week and I could no way have just gone to work and pretended to be normal.

Floralnomad Sun 06-Mar-16 12:52:28

What is going to change at 12 weeks ? , sorry if that's a dumb question but I had hyperemesis for the whole of my first pregnancy and in the second pregnancy had it for the whole pregnancy except weeks 16-22ish . Hope you feel better soon .

AntiHop Sun 06-Mar-16 12:56:12

Congratulations! I had to tell my boss around the 8 week mark for the same reason.. However I knew my boss would be understanding.

You could call the Maternity Action helpline for some advice about whether to disclose or not.

Most employees do child care vouchers as far as I know.

rookiemere Sun 06-Mar-16 14:18:46

Do you have a union at your company?

If you do, and even if you consider yourself to be the kind of person that does not need to be in a union, believe me you do, so join it now.

I'd make that appointment to see your doctor and keep it. They have no right to ask why you need to see a doctor so you don't need to tell them for the minute.

Your hours sound barbaric, even if you weren't pregnant. I had morning ( all day sickness) for the first trimester, I had a super second trimester, but for the last third I was tired and heavy. I distinctly remember having to re queue for a Taxi at Leeds airport after a super early start and then being hit by cigarette fumes outside.

Are there any office based jobs you could move to? Is a lot of your salary made up of bonuses and/or OTE? Sorry for barrage of questions but good to think about alternatives.

VimFuego101 Sun 06-Mar-16 14:23:42

I agree that you need to think about whether you want to go back after mat leave. You say they 'pay people off' - is it likely that that (if they did try and get rid of you) that would tide you over through maternity leave? Just trying to understand what the worst case scenario might be.

I would definitely tell them regardless. They are obliged to do a risk assessment to make sure your working conditions are safe during pregnancy, and it gives you some legal protection too.

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