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Employer stopping pay for midwife appts etc

(18 Posts)
Cherrysoup Sun 30-Oct-16 09:49:14

Posting here for traffic.

A friend works for an independent very small company, just her and the boss. She is pregnant and her employer is refusing to pay her for appointments as it means she needs to turn away clients (think nail salon, similar thing). She's becoming very stressed. Is she entitled to paid time off for midwife appts etc? ACAS is closed today, I've advised her to phone them first thing to tomorrow but would love to get her an answer today. Thanks.

Tarla Sun 30-Oct-16 09:51:15

As far as I'm aware you're entitled to paid time off for antenatal care, including antenatal classes if they fall in work time, and you can't be punished or discriminated against for this.

Seekingadvice123 Sun 30-Oct-16 09:51:49

Her employer is breaking the law. She is legally entitled to time off for antenatal care.

Seekingadvice123 Sun 30-Oct-16 09:53:39

Sorry.... meant PAID time off.
This is useful
www.gov.uk/working-when-pregnant-your-rights

MrsHathaway Sun 30-Oct-16 09:54:16

If she's employed and on hourly rate and the appointment falls in normal working hours she has to be paid to go.

But she might be technically self-employed (does she rent the chair?) or on commission or zero hours or similar, where it gets more complicated.

I think it's more likely the boss is pulling a fast one. In practice I don't know what she can do about it if she can't arrange her appointments for days she doesn't work.

Cherrysoup Sun 30-Oct-16 09:56:31

To clarify, she should be paid for time off? Employer is saying she'll only pay for one appointment out of two this week. She's debating going off sick as the stress is causing her migraines.

JellyBelli Sun 30-Oct-16 09:56:51

Your friend can contact ACAS for support if she is worried about challenging her employer.
The Acas helpline number is 0300 123 1100. It is available Monday 8am-8pm, Tuesday 8am-6pm, Wednesday to Thursday 8am-8pm, Friday 8am-6pm and Saturday 9am-1pm.

www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2042

HermioneWeasley Sun 30-Oct-16 10:02:39

She is entitled to paid time off for required ante natal care (scans, midwife appointments etc) but not "elective" things like NCT classes.

Tarla Sun 30-Oct-16 10:06:18

You can have paid time off for classes if they're recommended by midwife or doctor, for example if they recommend the hospital tour or the breastfeeding class and they land in work time then you're allowed paid time off for them as it forms part of your antenatal care.

OneEpisode Sun 30-Oct-16 10:06:46

Be careful about going off sick in late pregnancy. It sounds like this employer would use it as an excuse to start the maternity leave count down.

SarahOoo Sun 30-Oct-16 10:15:09

She is entitled to paid time off for these appointments if she is an employee. She can maybe try to negotiate the appointment times a bit though with the midwives to be helpful to your employer, I choose the later appointments so it doesn't affect my ability to go to meetings toooo much (work in professional services and travel around to meetings). I do feel for smaller employers though despite what the law says (and I work in HR) so while she has the right to the paid time off and should raise this, she may get the best out of her employer by expressing her understanding of how difficult it is for them. However at the end do the day, my main outlook is, if a company choose to be an employer then they have to accept everything that comes with it!

FannyWincham Sun 30-Oct-16 10:24:05

As PP have said, she is entitled to paid leave if she is an employee - but in nail salons, hairdressers etc many workers rent their chairs and are self-employed. What is her employment status?

qwertyuiopasdfghjkl Sun 30-Oct-16 10:25:54

I think she should try and he as helpful as possible for example appointments at beginning of end of the day

BarbaraofSeville Sun 30-Oct-16 10:28:46

The self-employed factor is interesting because it could be that her boss claims the OPs friend is self employed, but depending on their working relationship, technically she is actually employed.

The fact that the boss is referred to as 'boss' and seems to have control over how much the friend is paid suggests that she is actually employed, not self employed, despite what the boss and the OPs friend might actually think.

HMRC has good advice on this - it is a common tax/NI dodge that they are cracking down on.

Cherrysoup Sun 30-Oct-16 10:43:44

Sorry, dog walk, very exciting with a puppy that my lot didn't want near them!

She is employed, she has explained to her employer that she is entitled to paid midwife appts and she has tried to organise appts for the end of the day, when things are quieter. Her employer, on receiving the message re her having sought out legal advice from ACAS (previous to today, this is an ongoing issue) replied with a tongue sticking out emoji type of thing. Childish.

WaxingNinja Sun 30-Oct-16 10:47:15

Your friend, if she is employed, needs to speak to ACAS so she can give them the whole picture.

Fwiw it sounds like she's being as helpful as possible to her employer.

I've had this same situation (salon), where an employee was notifying me of midwife appointments the day before or the day of the appointment. Her appointments were always smack bang in the middle of the afternoon, across town, so there was no point in coming back to work as by the time she got back its nearly home time.

I overheard her telling one client how there'd been a mix up with her appointment the day before, it was the midwife's fault "but she was so nice and said she'd slot me in today whenever was best for me" - so my employee picked 2pm so she could take the whole afternoon off rather than 8.30am so she could get into work and do a full day hmm. I had to telephone clients to cancel or rearrange their appointments, it was a nightmare. And I was too small a business to be able to afford to employ someone else on standby.

Her boss doesn't sound very professional at all - replying to messages with emojis.

HyacinthFuckit Sun 30-Oct-16 11:03:47

How far gone is she? If she's 36 weeks or more her employer can enforce the start of ML if she's off sick. Though that won't be the case if she's self-employed.

Cherrysoup Sun 30-Oct-16 13:33:15

Sorry, I seem to be erratic, just been out and about. She's about four months. I've asked her to join up here, it's tricky doing things second hand! I'll link this to her so she can see advice directly.

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