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Should I declare 2 weeks' absence due to miscarriage on a job application?

(14 Posts)
vaticancameo Wed 18-Sep-13 22:05:43

I'm a teacher, applying for a new job. The form asks me to declare how many days' sickness I've had in the last 2 years, with reasons. I emailed HR to ask for this info, and they've sent me a copy of my sickness record. I've not had much time off - a total of 5 days over the 2 years - but on top of that, I was signed off for a fortnight by the hospital last year following a missed miscarriage and ERPC. On my sickness record it says "pregnancy related". I thought pregnancy-related illness shouldn't count as a sickness absence, and therefore shouldn't be listed on my record? So should I declare it on the form, or not? I'd rather not, obviously, but it does say that they will confirm my sickness record with my referee, and I don't want to be in a situation where I haven't declared it but the school does if they're asked. What shall I do?

StupidFlanders Thu 19-Sep-13 05:19:45

I would ask the school you're applying to if they would consider it as "sickness" mentioning that you thought it wasn't.
It would be horrible if they thought you were withholding information when you weren't.

halfwayupthehill Thu 19-Sep-13 05:58:40

I don't think a m/c is sickness as is pg related. I wouldn't mention it. But flowery would know more.

halfwayupthehill Thu 19-Sep-13 05:59:41

Or ask yr union?

Sorry about your miscarriage.

I didn't list any pregnacy related illness when I applied, but would second the advice to ask your union.

vaticancameo Thu 19-Sep-13 17:26:02

Thanks everyone. I'll phone the union tomorrow. Just worried that if I don't declare it and my school does, it looks like I'm withholding info.

Happiestinwellybobs Thu 19-Sep-13 17:35:13

Are you in the UK? They should not be asking such questions on an application form. The Equality Act 2010 brought together legislation and states that applicants can not be asked any questions that relate to health and disability prior to offer stage. Questions related to absence are just that!

I would therefore be inclined to omit the information. And I'm sorry to hear about your miscarriage.

vaticancameo Thu 19-Sep-13 19:50:46

Oh really? Yes, I'm in the UK. I don't know what to do now - if I look uncompliant they're not going to be impressed, are they?

Happiestinwellybobs Thu 19-Sep-13 20:07:03

Even if you do declare it, they are unlikely to take it into account. For example we have a trigger point for absence meetings (3 periods in 12 months). Your absence, whilst recorded, would be omitted if it was your third period.

vaticancameo Thu 19-Sep-13 20:11:37

It was actually my third period of absence and triggered a meeting, which I refused to go to on the grounds that it was pg related illness. I had to email them the relevant part of the government's website to prove that this shouldn't be listed as sickness absence before they would believe me. It seems it's still on my record though... hmm

fuckwittery Thu 19-Sep-13 20:11:42

If it has been recorded as pregnancy related by your current school, if you are made an offer they shouldn't be telling your new school it is sickness, it should be ignored for the purposes of sickness / absence record, to do otherwise would be pregnancy discrimination.

vaticancameo Thu 19-Sep-13 20:18:12

That's my thoughts fuckwittery - I just have doubts about how enlightened my current HR are, given that I had to explain the legal status of pg-related absence to them!

fuckwittery Thu 19-Sep-13 21:43:59

Hopefully your second school will understand though, and you are protected by law, so even if the first school DID in error mention this absence (and if you are offered the job, when you let them know that they will be getting a reference request, remind them not to do so), then you can check with the new school the correct info has been received and they shouldnt take the preg absence into account either when deciding whether to offer. i know its not that straightforwatd in real life, but you should definitely remind your old school not to inform the new one that pregnancy related illness is part of your sickness record.

MrsShrubs Fri 20-Sep-13 09:36:36

You don't have to say about it at all - this is straight off of the Citizens Advice Beaurau

"Time off sick for pregnancy and your sickness record
Time that you take off sick because of an illness resulting from your pregnancy, such as high blood-pressure, shouldn’t count towards your sickness record at work. This includes any time you take off because of a miscarriage

If you are disciplined or dismissed because of your sickness record when you're pregnant, this may be discrimination. You should get advice.

If your employer decides to dismiss you for taking too much time off sick when that time was due to being pregnant, this is likely to be pregnancy and maternity discrimination. You can make a claim to an employment tribunal about this.

If you take time off because of an illness connected with your pregnancy, or because of a miscarriage, this should be recorded. You might want to keep your own records of time you have taken off sick because of your pregnancy."

I asked the same thing because I had one earlier this year for filling out a new Life Insurance form this year as one of the questions was how much time have you had off work due to illness and it doesn't count. I'm really sorry about your MC and good luck with the job application!

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