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Seeking advice on work/contract challenges now I am pregnant

(8 Posts)
freddyfresh Wed 13-Jul-11 20:39:34

Looking for some advice on how to manage work. I've told them I'm 14 weeks pregnant and expressed my concerns about continuing in my contracted role.

The role involves being away from home 4 days / 3 nights a week. I put my concerns in writing - long working hours (I've done 7am to 9pm before), travelling with luggage, hectic pace of work and living the "hotel life" (i.e. not the best food, different beds etc). I've said I'd do any role that eliminates these risks and will allow me to reduce my travel and be closer to home and attend my ante-natal appointments.

They came back to me today saying:
1) they have to consider the whole business and have a 'business need' for me to be on that project away from home and there is no other suitable roles available which are local to me
2) they cannot discriminate against those who also do my role but are not pregnant if they changed my role because I am pregnant
3) pregnant ladies have already done the role willingly
4) I'll need to sort out reduced hours and attending appointments with the project manager
They did mention there were new jobs available that I could apply for which are based closer to home which may be a better long-term consideration when I return to work.

So, not really sure what to do next. Just get on with it and do the job as long as I can? Press them more on my concerns knowing nothing may change? Have my concerns got any weight given that I signed a contract to do that role? Are they in the right? Was my request unreasonable?

Apologies for the big post, any thoughts greatly appreciated!

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 13-Jul-11 21:35:47

By law, you are allowed time off to go to antenatal appointments but the rest I cant see them having to change anything with. As long as they allow you to take frequent breaks when driving then I cant see anything unsafe.

Its a little precious to expect them to find you another role just because you are pregnant given its not a manual handling job.

flowery Wed 13-Jul-11 21:42:32

I agree with HappyMummy. You do sound a bit precious claiming that the 'hotel life' presents a risk to the health and safety of you and your baby.

What's wrong with the beds? Why can you not choose reasonable food in the restaurants?

In terms of your long hours, is your long day on your feet all the time or something?

From what you've said it sounds as though they've been perfectly reasonable and polite.

fatandknackered Wed 13-Jul-11 21:46:07

On the upside if you are having to lug a computer and/or files around, then they should provide you with a trolley-bag for health & safety.

annh Wed 13-Jul-11 23:15:29

Surely the suitability of hotel food depends on what you choose to eat? I'd have loved to be able to wander into a restaurant when I was pregnant at the end of a day's work and ordered some lovely pasta dish or a tuna salad instead of going home and bunging something in the microwave or reheating the previous day's leftovers!

lateatwork Thu 14-Jul-11 11:03:26

I dont think it hurts to ask the questions if it was worrying you, but I probably wouldnt have been suprised by the response. I would go back to them and say you would still be interested in a role more local to home if one came up during your pregnancy, but in the meantime, I would stay put in the job.

Seems like the PM holds some of the strings re timing of appointments etc so I would foster that relationship.

RE luggage, is there some way you could work it to leave files locked at work location / work hotel etc so you dont have to carry them all the time?

Re travel- I would find driving in the latter parts of pregnancy difficult- so would ask to travel by train with taxis at either end...

Grevling Thu 14-Jul-11 12:37:25

I think you need to have a look at your job and if its suitable.

They've already said "business need" which sort of points to where a flexible working request will be headed ---- a no.

If you can't/don't want to do the hotel life while pregnant are you going to feel any better when you've got the child.

Some jobs just don't lend themselves to family life and if that's part of the business its not really fair to expect them to change that.

flowery Thu 14-Jul-11 12:53:07

I think they've been remarkably measured given it sounds as though you've said hotel beds present a health and safety risk. I'm afraid they probably think you're being a bit ridiculous. Out of interest how did you expect them to change you role so that you didn't need to stay in hotels?

I also agree that they have a point with regards to considering the longer-term and have been responsible in pointing out jobs nearer to you which may be of interest.

That's not stopping you doing/returning to your existing job but being helpful in pointing out options that might help you stay with your employer in the event that you consider your current job unsuitable for life with a new baby.

Are you planning to apply for one of the other jobs?

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