To not bend over backwards to please my employer?(31 Posts)
I got a call from head of management yesterday, I've never seen her before but she's above all our line managers etc.
I've had two weeks away from work due to horrendous HG sickness. She said ''so what is it that's exactly wrong with you?''
I replied that I have pregnancy related HG sickness, and it was very debilitating at present. She then went on to ask if I was certain I would be in Monday, as they needed to know. I replied yes I would be
but would be needing a bucket to puke into
She then went on to say "Can you make sure all your appointments are made during the morning or last thing, so as to not disrupt the working day too much''.
I replied this wasn't really in my control since I'd asked for first thing/last thing appointments each time and I'd only ever been offered the choice between two availabilities, none of which so far have ever been convenient, more afternoonish time.
She replied ''Well, you need to tell them you work for the NHS, if you said that they'd grasp how busy we are''. Again, I said I tried this but it hasn't worked.
Then, in a very fed up voice she said ''What hospital is it you're with?'' I said the hospital name. She said ''Why that hospital? It's a bit far isn't it? Not really local at all'' (She knows my address so she knows it isn't local to work or home).
I was really put on the spot to answer. I've had horrendous experiences with maternity care and I have had lost babies due to poor care, so I chose this one as I feel safe and cared for. I didn't tell her this, I lied and said we were moving to the area so I based my mat care there I know I shouldn't have lied but is it really her business?
We had a new line manager start a few weeks back who has taken over handling sickness, holiday etc etc. I told new manager about pregnancy quite early on due to needing time away for quite a few appointments earlier on too. Turns out she didn't even document the sickness as pregnant related, even though it's clearly stated on medical evidence and letters etc that I've shown and given copies of.
Am I in the wrong? Am I breaking the maternity law because my expectations aren't reasonable, and should they expect a closer hospital?
Thank you for any input
Are you taking a whole day off work to attend an appointment? Is that what the problem is?
I know nothing that could possibly help you, but I am sorry you are in this position. I would find the super-manager's questioning intrusive and unhelpful, but time off of any kind is very badly thought-of in the workplace nowadays.
Pretty sure she's not even allowed to ask "exactly what is wrong with you".
I'd look up your employment rights if I were you. I'm sure she's not allowed to be that invasive!
Hi all, thanks for replying!
No, I do not take whole days off for appointments at all but the traveling to and from makes an hours appointment into 3 hours etc.
She didn't sound very trustworthy, even though I suppose she has to be given her job title.
Give acas a call for some advice if I were you. You are entitled to take time off for maternity appointments but I'm not sure how many or if it would include reasonable travelling time etc. She sounds a bit OTT to me. Good luck with your pregnancy and managing this situation op.
You need to call ACAS and give your manager a print out of your rights in pregnancy. You are allowed to go to any hospital of your choosing and it's nothing to do with your employers. If you weren't allowed to choose the hospital then you wouldn't have been given the choice at all.
Oh OP this is awful. She is completely treating you unfair. Prior to having my DS, I suffered a lot during the pregnancy. I didn't have sickness etc, but struggled as I had many vitamin deficiencies. I was a high risk pregnancy also, due to other reasons, and had a lot of hospital appointments. The hospital was a 10 minute walk from my work, and I always tried to arrange the appointments during my lunch hour, and of course they ran over sometimes. My manager was a right bitch, and even though I tried making her job easier by being around as much as I could be, she still wasn't pleased. She caused me so much stress in an already high risk pregnancy. I did a lot of research on pregnancy rights in the work place, so I had all the facts. Whenever she would be spiteful I'd hit her with the facts, and actually started to get really defensive with her. She started to ignore me at work, which did not bother me at all. She just left me to get on with my appointments any time of the day, and I was allowed to alter my working environment to make it safer. She knew she couldn't do anything legally. She really hated me .
My advice.. if she continues asking you personal questions remind her that she is not obligated to know the ins and outs of your pregnancy, and hospital choice. She is only to know about the pregnancy side that will affect your job (your pregnancy HG). Also if she requires more information then to please put it into writing, and you shall seek the advice of your doctors as to whether it's appropriate for her to know this information. Good idea to read up on your rights too. Good luck in your pregnancy
Look on the website Maternity Action. She sounds horrible. All pregnancy sickness needs to be recorded as such.
Paid time off for antenatal care
If you are an employee, you have the right to take reasonable time off for your antenatal appointments, including time needed to travel to your clinic or GP, without loss of pay. You should let your employer know when you need time off. Your employer can ask to see your appointment card and a certificate stating that you are pregnant for all appointments apart from the first one.
Antenatal care can include parentcraft and relaxation classes. You may need a letter to show your employer from your GP or midwife, saying that these classes are part of your antenatal care.
.maternityaction.org.uk has all the info you need re pregnancy, working and mat leave.
You're allowed to take time off for maternity related medical appointments as required by a medical professional. So if you're midwife appt, that you're required to attend, takes 6 hours that's as long as you're allowed to take.
If you're working for the NHS, speak directly to HR about this - we're fortunate to have very good HR support
Well I guess you've already answered her question. She asked you to make sure your appointments were at the beginning or end of the day and you've stated that you have no control over appointment times which is absolutely true. There's nothing more to add really,just keep repeating you have no control over appointment times.
I don't know what your rights are but she sounds horrible. I think I would have told her it was a high risk pregnancy and the choice of hospital was because of that. I don't think it would have made her sympathetic, though. She sounds as hard as nails. I have heard the NHS are the worse for sympathy, too, which is a bit ironic.
You'd think the NHS would have an actual clue about the state of the health system, don't you?
OP - Your manager was a bitch, pure and simple. Her questions were invasive and potentially triggering. Don't know what to suggest - suspect other NHS posters will know more- but I wanted to offer support.
I went to my closest maternity hospital for both babies. It's fairly close to both work and home - and ALL my appointments took much longer than 3 hours (inc travelling time).
Your rights are detailed here:
In summary pregnant employees have:
- 4 main legal rights:
- paid time off for antenatal care
- maternity leave
- maternity pay or maternity allowance
- protection against unfair treatment, discrimination or dismissal.
Also any pregnancy related illness should be disregarded, i.e. your employer shouldn't follow any official sickness displinary process.
They also need to complete a risk assessment to ensure there's no risk to you or your baby's health. Details are on the link I posted.
Really feeling for you SayHello
I'm having issues with NHS management too at the moment so can I share a couple of things I wish I'd done from the start:
Note every conversation in your diary so you have a record of who was informed of what, when
Find and excuse to email a summary of any meeting e.g. 'Just to confirm ...'
Download your Trusts sickness policy (managers & employees), grievance policy, and maternity policy
Then you'll know what guidance your manager is working from. Plus you'll have evidence to avoid disagreements.
I wish I'd fine the above earlier and could've avoided the 'but I told you' , 'no you didn't' rubbish I'm in.
"You should do everything possible to minimise disruption to your working day by making appointments at a time that will reduce your absence from work but if you have no control over your appointments you are entitled to take a reasonable amount of time off for your antenatal care"
OP - You have no control over when your appointments are so I think that this is relevant to you.
I found it here - www.maternityaction.org.uk/advice-2/mums-dads-scenarios/pregnant/pregnancy-discrimination/
Sickness time from work related to pregnancy should be treated the same as any other, be as vague as you like.
I am TTC and when I finally succeed and progress I won't be telling my line manager that I am pregnant until I really have to as I know that she will be a bitch about anything pregnancy related.
Details about pregnancy related sickness are detailed here.
Thank you for wonderful input and support.
Is it a bit OTT for me to log with HR about how invasive she was?
I may be wrong but aren't back to work interviews inclusive of a how we can minimise the time off and make sure it's not a regular thing talk? I may be wrong... I've never taken time away like I have now!
Is it a bit OTT for me to log with HR about how invasive she was?
I would think about telling HR as I hate to say it but this could just be the beginning of her appalling behaviour and it is better to get everything logged properly.
I would definitely contact ACAS if you need any further guidance about your specific situation as it would be unwise to post specifics online.
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