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miscarriage used against me for attendance management

(19 Posts)
Bells2307 Mon 11-Jan-16 13:56:10

Hi All, looking for some advice.
I had a miscarriage in May 2015 and had 2 weeks off work following a difficult EPRC operation. My work only allow 8 days illness in any 12 month rolling period and conducted a attendance management hearing when I returned to work. They decided to take no further action as I had only had 3 days off in the 12 months prior to this. I am now pregnant again (over 24 weeks) and due to a lung infection have had a further 4 days off along with a 1.5 day absence due to a cold back in october. I have been told that I will have to go through another attendance management hearing due to continuing to trip the 8 day rule. Is this all correct? the reason I've ended up with the lung infection is that the doctors didn't want to prescribe antibiotics early on due to me being pregnant! (I'm now on antibiotics after ended up in A&E with breathing problems!) am feeling pretty down about work at the moment. I've worked for them for 17 years and have never had a sickness problem, only now that I'm pregnant. I work in local government by the way.

OneThingAndThenTheNext Mon 11-Jan-16 13:59:01

I could be wrong here, but I didn't think pregnancy related illness could be counted against you with regards to sick leave recording?

QforCucumber Mon 11-Jan-16 13:59:20

There should be in your company policy somewhere a statement which advises that pregnancy related sickness cannot be used against you and not in conjunction with sickness procedures.
You need to find this to confirm, and to back you up in the review.

OneThingAndThenTheNext Mon 11-Jan-16 13:59:52

www.maternityaction.org.uk/wp/advice-2/mums-dads-scenarios/pregnant/sickness-during-pregnancy-and-maternity-leave/

OllyBJolly Mon 11-Jan-16 14:14:58

This attendance management meeting isn't part of the disciplinary process, is it? The miscarriage absence should not be used for disciplinary purposes.

The meeting should be a welfare one, and only escalate to disciplinary if there is continuing (non pregnancy related) absence.

Are you in a union? This is where membership is so valuable. Councils are usually very careful when it comes to potential discrimination. That doesn't mean that all the managers are correctly informed.

Hope your health problems clear up and you can enjoy the rest of your pregnancy.

FannyFifer Mon 11-Jan-16 14:21:36

They can't count your miscarriage as part of sick time or discipline you for it.

Whatdoidohelp Mon 11-Jan-16 14:28:19

Any leave elated to pregnancy or the loss of a pregnancy cannot be used in disciplinary or redundancy matters. Print of the maternity action leaflet for your boss or HR. You have a court case that you will win if they ignore this smile

WineSpider Mon 11-Jan-16 14:34:10

This is illegal. Read up and educate them. Sorry you are going through this after losing your baby.

caroldecker Mon 11-Jan-16 14:49:40

I would assume the meeting is just to document the reasons for the absence, including if anything in the workplace is causing an issue, rather than a disciplinary

flowery Mon 11-Jan-16 16:37:06

There's nothing wrong with either recording pregnancy-related sickness or holding a meeting to discuss absence.

If they give you a formal warning and take the pg-related absence into account for that, that's where there's an issue.

LibrariesGaveUsP0wer Mon 11-Jan-16 16:40:33

What Flowery said. It's good practice to meet with people who have absence. It's of it becomes disciplinary it's a problem.

Wait until the meeting. It may just be a chance to support you. flowers

Trenzalor Mon 11-Jan-16 17:53:32

Yup, what they said. As soon as you notify them officially that you are pregnant they cannot count any pregnancy related absences as sick or otherwise. They don't seem to know the law.
Sorry for your loss and the stress this clearly will be causing.
Contact your Union and think of your little one. X

flowery Mon 11-Jan-16 18:22:22

"As soon as you notify them officially that you are pregnant they cannot count any pregnancy related absences as sick or otherwise. They don't seem to know the law."

<sigh>

No, it's you who doesn't know the law. As I said above, it's perfectly fine to record pregnancy related absences as being sickness absences, and there's nothing wrong with a meeting to discuss absence, including pregnancy-related sickness absence.

What employers are not allowed to do is penalise employers for pregnancy-related sickness absence. All this means is that pregnancy-related sickness absence should not be taken into account when giving (or deciding whether to give) disciplinary warnings, or when performing redundancy selections or similar.

The OP says absolutely nothing to suggest either of those things is happening. If she is given a warning which is all or partially because of her pg-related absence, then she will have a legitimate complaint.

Bells2307 Tue 12-Jan-16 07:31:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MummyBex1985 Tue 12-Jan-16 12:06:04

Flowery is correct.

Assuming they are taking action about the non pregnancy related absences then that's legally acceptable.

The other point is that the protected period for pregnancy ends two weeks after the pregnancy ends, so they could also argue if your absence extended beyond that, that it wasn't pregnancy related either! I doubt that argument would be successful though.

Bells2307 Tue 12-Jan-16 12:21:00

They've counted all absences to start the stage 1, including pregnancy related. I'm not sure about my miscarriage, I was told that baby had died on the Thursday and had the op on the Saturday, not sure which date counts as the miscarriage?, it was a missed miscarriage detected during a scan my body had not recognised that the baby had died. I had 2 weeks off after the operation on the Saturday.

BishopBrennansArse Tue 12-Jan-16 12:24:07

Interesting.
8 years ago I was given a verbal warning for excessive absence after a mmc at 22+5 weeks.
Working for a well known retailer.

Wish I'd known that back then.

Iggi999 Tue 12-Jan-16 12:38:37

Legal or not, anyone who conducts a hearing (rather than a supportive meeting) when an employee returns to work after losing their baby is an arse.

BishopBrennansArse Tue 12-Jan-16 13:52:33

Yes.
They gave me the verbal warning so in reply I told them where to stick their job.

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