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Time off work for miscarriage - Do I need to tell my employer the reason?

(8 Posts)
Willow2015 Tue 28-Apr-15 17:36:50

Hello, I'm brand new here so I hope that I am posting in the correct place and can get some help/advice!

We lost our baby at 8 weeks and I have been signed off work with 'procedure' as the reason (very stressful time and experience for us both). Trouble is, my employer has said that because it is a 'procedure', they legally need to know what procedure this was. I don't want to lie, but only myself and my partner know what has happened (despite being very close to our families, we don't want anyone else to feel the pain that we have). Does my employer legally need to know why? I'd rather hand my doctor's note and leave it at that.

Thank you to anyone who can help! smile

YDdraigGoch Tue 28-Apr-15 17:44:43

I would just say that its a gynaecological issue and leave it at that. If your manager is a man he'll probably back off at that point anyway!

PenguinsAreAce Tue 28-Apr-15 17:54:22

I don't think they have a right to know, no. Check your HR handbook, follow the procedure for submitting your sick note to the letter, and do not give away personal info you do not feel comfortable with.


AbbeyRoadCrossing Tue 28-Apr-15 17:58:19

I'm not sure of the legal position but could you ask to just tell HR only (if you don't know them well) and ask to keep confidential, which they should do with sickness anyway.

CorBlimeyTrousers Tue 28-Apr-15 18:39:09

I'm sorry about the miscarriage. I hope you're ok.

Is it because they want to know if you might need any adjustments when you return? For example, if you were having a knee operation then you might have difficulty travelling on public transport in rush hour. If you can I'd ask the reason and maybe give the 'gynaecological' explanation as above.

I had infertility problems (not the same I know) and I did tell my manager about my treatment and although that was awkward (I sent her an email initially as it made me cry to talk about it) it was actually a huge relief to have her understanding when I needed time off. I asked her to keep it confidential and she did.

Writemove Tue 28-Apr-15 19:21:30

So sorry to hear about your loss. When I had my miscarriage I asked for another sick note as the first one said erpc.

I handed the new one, which said 'procedure' to my hr department. They didn't ask for more but i told work I had a gynaecological cyst. I didn't want them to know I was ttc as I would have been perceived differently. It was the closest explanation I could use. And it's not like me to be as vague as saying procedure.

When you say gynaecological people - especially men - do tend to close the conversation down.

I fell pregnant two months later and now have a ds.

I hope things work out for you.

LIG1979 Sun 03-May-15 21:33:58

Sorry about your mc.

With my mc they offered to sign me off with something generic but I found it easier that my boss and hr knew as the mental recovery took a while so whilst physically at work I was not always there mentally. It also meant that when I got pregnant again and was a mess with anxiety about it all going wrong my boss had suspicions and was sympathetic to me not turning up unexpectedly after getting into a panic etc. However, my male boss and hr were really supportive and didn't hold me ttc against me so this may not always be a good strategy.

insightally Mon 04-May-15 14:38:08

it may be because of adjustments potentially needed

i've asked similar of my staff in the past, in a sensitive / non-harsh manner, because the (v confidential) forms we all fill in require a reason, which is then linked to a huge section on potential adjustments

on occasions like this i'd assume it would be okay to decline to provide any more details, but let them know no adjustments needed. or, if you feel comfortable, you can let them know the general category like others have said - "gynaecological" should be sufficient really.

hope that helps.

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