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23 weeks pregnant, can i loose my lose?!

(5 Posts)
Sweetiepie1989 Thu 20-Apr-17 22:30:08

Hello,

I'm 23 weeks pregnant with DS (rainbow baby) and work full time in a special needs school as a TA.

We've had 4 children across the school come down with slap cheek. Although it doesn't really affect adults and kiddies who catch it, it is very dangerous for unborn babies if mother isn't immune. It can stop the baby growing, cause fluid on the brain as well as many other complications worst case stillbirth (my first son was stillborn).

It's a bit like chicken pox as you can be contagious before even knowing you're ill. Due to this I've been signed off by my GP until at least my blood test results come back saying whether I'm immune, and my work have been less then supportive!

I don't like making a fuss, and have in the past perhaps done things I felt uncomfortable with so not to get the cold shoulder.

So basically I wondered if I can loose my job? I have had time off this year due to picking up different bugs etc. I just couldn't risk this.
Many thanks! (Sorry for long post!)

SlB09 Thu 20-Apr-17 22:36:10

Unlikely. It might be worth familiarising yourself with your schools sickness absence policy though just so you know the routes they may take in certain instances. For example my employer triggers a 'review' after three absence periods in 12 months with/without occy health input and action plan, its then taken further if more absence but it would take a lot to reach a dismissal point. I wouldnt worry x

peukpokicuzo Thu 20-Apr-17 22:38:35

Congratulations on your happy pregnancy.
You are doing exactly the right thing to be off work in this circumstance - your baby's health has to be your first priority.
Try not to worry about the job. Maybe they will want you gone - in which case you wouldn't want to stay.

Officially they can't fire you for any reason connected to your pregnancy. It's massively difficult to prove your case if they claim a different reason.

flowery Fri 21-Apr-17 11:01:42

It would be very difficult for them to dismiss you, please don't worry.

Even if you have less than two years' service (which would mean normally they could easily dismiss you), when it comes to pregnancy you are protected. They cannot dismiss you for any reason connected with your pregnancy, so if they want to dismiss you they realistically have to have very solid non-pregnancy reasons for doing so. With a discrimination claim, you'd have to prove you had reason to believe it might be discrimination, then the burden of proof shifts to them, and they'd need to be able to demonstrate that it had nothing to do with your pregnancy.

You also can't be penalised for pregnancy-related sickness absence, so if any of your previous absences were sickness that was pregnancy-related, they can't be taken into account.

Your current absence doesn't sound like sickness though - it sounds as though you are perfectly well and able to work, but your GP feels your workplace is not safe for you. In which case you shouldn't be 'off sick'. Your employer is required to do a risk assessment for you, and if there is a risk, they need to take steps to address that risk, or change your job so that you are not at risk and can continue working. If they are unable to reduce the risk to an acceptable level, they need to sign you off on full pay unless and until the workplace is safe. This is a health and safety issue, not a sickness absence one.

MrsPinkCock Fri 21-Apr-17 19:36:01

Tricky one.

Technically you admit you aren't off sick, even though you have a GP note. Your employer is entitled to form their own view as to your fitness to work, and doesn't have to accept the GP note as absolute evidence of illness.

Agree that it's a health and safety issue and not a sickness issue. Could they dismiss you for being off sick when you aren't ill - theoretically, yes. However it would be risky from a pregnancy discrimination and health and safety point of view, as if you weren't pregnant then you wouldn't have to be off work and you also removed yourself from the workplace due to the potential danger to your health. So on balance, it's pretty unlikely!

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