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Sickness triggering mat.leave - not pregnancy related

(9 Posts)
Nottalotta Tue 23-Jun-15 05:24:14

My question is, can it?

If i am signed off by GP in the last 4 weeks of pregnancy due to a non pregnancy related problem, will it trigger my maternity leave? I have a letter from work saying if i am off due to pregnancy in this time then it will.

flowery Tue 23-Jun-15 05:37:32

If the sickness is genuinely completely unrelated then no it shouldn't trigger maternity leave. I assume you get good sick pay so want to make the most of that before starting your maternity leave?

Nottalotta Tue 23-Jun-15 06:14:52

I've been signed off for stress. Work related in fact but this wasn't specified. I am keen to go back for the 3 wks before maternity but have been told that I will be expected to pick up the most stressful part of my job every day for 3 weeks of(instead of the usual 1 day a week)

I am honestly not sure how I will manage it so just wondering about my options. I don't feel i should be forced into taking maternity leave early.

NiceViper Tue 23-Jun-15 06:32:44

Will you be able to demonstrate that it is not PG related?

Employer is entitled to ask GP for information in these circs.

flowery Tue 23-Jun-15 08:31:53

Well if you're not off sick with anything pregnancy-related you can't be forced into taking maternity leave early.

Having said that, 3/4 weeks out from a due date and with a full time stressful job that you're "not sure how you'll manage", personally I wouldn't want to go back at this point, so it would just be a question of whether to remain signed off sick or start maternity leave.

Nottalotta Tue 23-Jun-15 12:49:17

I'm not sure how I would demonstrate that its not pregnancy related? I mean it is a stressful job, stress is highlighted in our risk assessments.

I have seen the GP 3 times and each time i have said that'Its probably worse due to being pregnant' and he has said that how I have been feeling and the associated issues are not merely due to pregnancy. So i guess he'd be happy to confirm that with work.

Also, time away from work has really helped, a lot. If it were due to pregnancy, well, I'm still pregnant so suppose id still be feeling as bad?

flowery Tue 23-Jun-15 17:30:14

Time away from work doesn't automatically mean it's not pregnancy-related. Plenty of pregnancy-related conditions are exacerbated by work, hence the need to be signed off sick, and plenty of normally manageable medical conditions are exacerbated by pregnancy, thereby often making them pregnancy-related.

Sounds to me as though you need to stay off for the next couple of weeks, if it's much better when you're at home and it's going to be stressful going back, really at this late stage, surely it's better not to bother and put yourself first?

HRAdvisor Wed 24-Jun-15 23:24:58

Legally, if you have any pregnancy related sickness absence that requires you to be signed off for work within 4 weeks of your due date, your maternity leave will kick in.

Whether or not it is pregnancy related is a question of fact, not law. Some illnesses will be tricky to determine. Your employer should be looking to find any pregnancy-related reasons, but not so hard as to invent it. General rule is, is if it's not obvious it's pregnancy related, then it's not pregnancy related.

That said, sounds like you could do with going on maternity leave anyway.

Iizzyb Fri 26-Jun-15 19:50:06

Agree with all the advice but all you need to do is ask the gp to write stress or whatever they have been putting. Presumably they are not writing "pregnancy related condition" or similar. I'm an employment lawyer. I would only advise an employer that mat leave should start if it is that obvious. It's intended to cover genuine pregnancy related problems. That being said, either way, surely you just need to stay off? See your gp & if they give you a fit note that says pregnancy related, ask them to do it again. I'd be amazed if your employer checked with your gp. They have to ask for your consent, you need to see the report first and they have to pay for a report. Even if they can be bothered you'll have had the baby by then!

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