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To hide pregnancy from manager

(42 Posts)
AlwaysShopping Thu 05-May-16 18:50:34

My line manager left my company 4 weeks ago, I have been signed off with pregnancy related sickness for 6 weeks this week. This means I have to report sickness to one of the executives as my line managers role is unfilled. The executive is known to be sexist and avoids recruiting women into the company. Men are offered all promotions. He has openly complained infront of people when he finds out that female staff are pregnant.

I have only communicated via email thus far with the executive as he wouldn't give me his work number only for his EA who never answers, I have been signed off for 3 more weeks as of yesterday. I have had lots of emails from staff at my company asking what is wrong etc. I don't feel comfortable telling the executive the reason. Staff have also emailed me saying that people are talking about me being off and can't understand what is wrong. Also suggesting I have mental illness ( if I did so what ?! and now I really don't feel like returning to this company as no one has actually asked if I am ok ... Normal in other places I have worked). Also if it was something very seriously wrong with my health I feel the company's profit loss would come before my illness. The executive accused me of lying about being unwell to others before I provided my certificates.

Is it unreasonable to just send in my sick note? And to hide my pregnancy untill the policy states? I am only 7 weeks at present. I have had nightmares worrying about this but not sure if I am not being professional by keeping back the reason for being off. I also think they may try to redeploy me once I tell them I am pregnant as my role is very demanding and needs a lot of focus.

redexpat Thu 05-May-16 18:57:12

I wouldn't tell them this early. I wouldn't tell them until I'd had the scan at 12/13 wks and seen a beating heart.

mmmminx Thu 05-May-16 18:59:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mmmminx Thu 05-May-16 19:00:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

unimagmative13 Thu 05-May-16 19:01:14

Just to ask if you are 7 weeks pregnant how have you been off for 6 weeks on a pregnancy related illness? That wouldn't add up for me as a manger.

Also yes just tell them at the 25 week point. Personally I felt the quicker I told work the more protected I felt.

I too work at a company in a similar circumstance I just kept my head down and went off at 30 weeks.

Primaryteach87 Thu 05-May-16 19:01:17

You absolutely don't need to tell them. Most GPs will be sympathetic to writing something vague on the sick note if that's what you want, but remember two downsides
a) pregnancy sickness is a pregnancy related absence and so cannot be 'used against you' later. If you don't tell them, then obviously it will be counted as a normal absence and
b) you are protected from discrimination in law if they know you are pregnant. However if they find out/guess but you can't prove it, they could discriminate and they could claim they had no idea you were even pregnant.

NeedACleverNN Thu 05-May-16 19:58:07

Just to ask if you are 7 weeks pregnant how have you been off for 6 weeks on a pregnancy related illness? That wouldn't add up for me as a manger.

Yes this.

Also be aware that when you announce your pregnancy, your work have to do a risk assessment. Do you work in an environment where a risk assessment would be vital?

I had to announce mine quite early because it involved a lot of heavy lifting

curren Thu 05-May-16 20:04:08

It's up to you when you tell them.

But being evasive about your sick and having a lot of time off, will end up with you possibly going down an absence management route. Surely you have had to send sick notes in?

They can't do a risk assessment etc. And you don't have any pregnancy protection.

Tbh, I don't get how you could be 7 weeks pregnant and off for 6 weeks with pregnancy related illness. Your pregnancy is counted from you last period. Surely you didn't know you were pregnant until you were 3/4 weeks?

noeuf Thu 05-May-16 20:05:25

I think op means initially 3 weeks and today another 3 weeks, making 6 weeks to be off in total.

PinkParsnips Thu 05-May-16 20:08:27

Op says she was signed for 6 weeks from this week onwards.

What does your sick note say?

JessieMcJessie Thu 05-May-16 20:09:05

Hopefully OP will explain but I think she was signed off for 3 weeks to begin with and has just been signed off for another 3, making the total 6 but she's only halfway through it?

As for this "Executive" how can he not give you his number/have a PA who does not answer calls? That's not very managerial behaviour. Can't your switchboard just put you through to him? And do you not have an HR person or dept?

JessieMcJessie Thu 05-May-16 20:10:01

Snap noeuf, cross post!

Penfold007 Thu 05-May-16 20:21:30

You are seven weeks pregnant, have been off sick with pregnancy related issues for six weeks and now have a certificate for another six weeks? I'm a little confused.

BillSykesDog Thu 05-May-16 20:35:09

If she had assisted conception she could well have been signed off pretty much straight away. It can make you really poorly.

OP, I had sick notes for a couple of weeks which just said 'infection', Drs are usually pretty good about giving evasive sick notes in early pregnancy. You can either send in the sick notes and tell them after your scan. OR you can tell them now that you're pregnant because once they know anti-discrimination legislation kicks in and you are a bit more protected. I did the latter, I'm not intending to go back, so just wanted to protect my mat pay.

Primaryteach87 Thu 05-May-16 20:40:18

The OP is asking for advice about disclosing her pregnancy, not you to interrogate her sick notes, which since you are not her doctor you aren't in the best place to have any opinion on.

Incidentally, I found out I was pregnant at 5.5weeks due to throwing up every two hours..

unimagmative13 Thu 05-May-16 20:46:01

5.5 weeks is fair enough people are questioning the 1 week difference.

Just pointing out that as a manager you would raise that.

AuntJane Thu 05-May-16 20:46:09

Rather than speak to the Exec, can you speak to someone in HR? Then can then tell the Exec that you have provided a reason which they find satisfactory.

curren Thu 05-May-16 20:59:53

The OP is asking for advice about disclosing her pregnancy, not you to interrogate her sick notes, which since you are not her doctor you aren't in the best place to have any opinion on.

She is asking advice. Advice is difficult to give when the op isn't being clear. The op hasn't mentioned assisted conception, so can only assume it's not. Again would she had had a positive at 1 week?

mmmminx Thu 05-May-16 21:04:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AlwaysShopping Thu 05-May-16 21:09:20

Sorry I have been off for 3 weeks which they are pissy about as it is, now another 3 making it 6 and probably counting. I found out really early because I felt like death. Maybe I could call HR but I'm worried they would tell the exec as he is so senior.... I could reveal the pregnancy when the policy says ( can't remember exactly when that is ) and then surley the previous sickness would be linked to the one pregnancy episode? He has given me the PAs desk phone but she hardly picks up and I don't even want to speak to him ATM as feel so rough as it is.

MatildaTheCat Thu 05-May-16 21:15:08

Unfortunately I think they are entitled to know why you are off sick since presumably they are paying your salary? As said up thread, your pregnancy does provide you with some protection. A sick note should state the illness and hyperemesis is a serious illness.

Hope you feel better soon.

mmmminx Thu 05-May-16 21:15:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NeedACleverNN Thu 05-May-16 21:17:05

Ah that makes a bit more sense.

Well legally no you don't have to tell them but saying that it might be wise to.

If you are suffering illness now, you could end up being signed off for the whole pregnancy until your maternity leave ( I did)

My pregnancy protected me whereas illness wouldn't

AlwaysShopping Thu 05-May-16 21:17:40

The GP did not say it was pregnancy related as I said I hadn't told work. But this is on record at GP if required no? I feel like I shouldn't be forced into telling them so early but understand it's my employer so that's why am seeking views.

LouBlue1507 Thu 05-May-16 21:22:18

I would tell them ASAP, At least your job is protected then as they can't sack you for pregnancy related illness!

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