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Pregnancy and Work

(7 Posts)
roguenation Thu 05-Oct-17 21:03:56

Hi Everyone,

I thought I would start this thread to see if anyone can offer any help or advice with a problem I am having at work.

I am on a FTC with a huge public sector company and my contract is due 31st January 2018. I was originally supposed to be extended to April 2018 but HR messed up my contract, but I was verbally told that my contract extension paperwork is being completed (a month ago I was told and no one is responding to my emails as to what is happening with it).
Long story short, I told my boss I was pregnant last week as I was feeling really ill with a terrible cold and a some morning sickness. Now all of sudden my sicknesses throughout my whole employment has been brought into question because I have been flagged in the system as having 3 instances (1 half day and 1 2 week sickness which was covered with a doctors note, and now this pregnancy related one).

So, in my review earlier, my manager gave me this huge list of sickness and 'incidents' of where I have been out of the office (even though some of these 'incidents' have been covered by annual leave, making up of hours or working from home) and has now told me that my sickness and incidents are making me seem very unreliable and not committed to the company!

I feel like this is all geared towards them stopping my extension but also not paying any maternity pay that I would be eligible for (15 weeks before the baby is due is 13th January) or even something worse like trying to get rid of me.

Can anyone offer any help or advice as to where I would stand?
It's making me terribly upset and stressed, and also feeling like I can't enjoy the pregnancy because I am so worried.

Thanks

timeisnotaline Fri 06-Oct-17 00:27:48

It's hard, they haven't a leg to stand on, but you could do with some support probably. It might be acas? Basically you need to be very assertive but calm and respond in writing saying this is what you told me, Please correct anything I have wrong, would like to discuss it with you. Then in the discussion say 1. Pregnancy leave may not be counted as sickness for performance purposes. 2. I don't know how you can justify cAlling this a sick period when I was took annual leave- that shows my commitment, not my lack of. As does mt flexible working to make up other hours. I think I look very committed. And again afterwards write them what you said and what they said.
The writing will flag that you are establishing a case, and you absolutely have a pretty good case. If you're lucky they'll back right down, but you may not get your contract. Which will basically be because you are pregnant and it's absolutely shit. Fight it though!!!

roguenation Fri 06-Oct-17 06:55:54

Thanks @timeisnotaline I'm going to check if I have an email this morning with my meeting minutes from yesterday and then respond like you said!
I just can't believe some employers are like this

timeisnotaline Fri 06-Oct-17 15:47:33

I think you should probably post again in AIBU or chat because you should get responses from the people who know who to call to be clear on your rights etc.

Yetanotherfinemess Mon 09-Oct-17 12:00:18

Speak to your local Citizens Advice. If it is a large public sector company they should know what they can and can't do and they absolutely cannot discriminate on grounds of pregnancy.

The test for SMP is working for them 15th week before and 25 weeks before that so you should get it. If that doesn't work for some reason you could apply for Maternity Allowance.

flowery Mon 09-Oct-17 12:41:49

"I was originally supposed to be extended to April 2018 " Is there anything written down anywhere? You say no one is responding to your recent emails chasing it, but is there anything anywhere which indicates it is expected?

Do they have any kind of trigger system with regards to absence in terms of x absence triggers a meeting, or similar? They should disregard pregnancy-related absences for these purposes but other than that they should operate the system as they normally would.

As long as the absences being referred to are documented as being annual leave/approved making up hours/approved working from home, that should be relatively easy to establish.

If they would otherwise have extended your contract, they would be sensible to have very concrete reasons not to do so if you are pregnant, as otherwise it looks the pregnancy might be a reason, which obviously is unlawful.

In terms of maternity pay, either you qualify for SMP or you don't - whether your contract is extended won't affect that. If you've been employed continuously since just before you got pregnant, and earn enough, and are still employed at 15 weeks before your due date, you'll get SMP even if your employment subsequently ends.

Make sure you have documented the absences which shouldn't count, and keep any conversations about the subject in writing rather than verbal so that you have a record. See what happens, and if you do feel you are being penalised because of your pregnancy, you could raise a grievance, and certainly if your contract isn't extended and you have any reason to believe your pregnancy was a factor, you should challenge that.

roguenation Wed 11-Oct-17 21:57:06

No I haven't @flowery but that's not an issue, there are so many other things that have happened as a breach of policy on her behalf is only one of them.

I saw my midwife on Monday and she was so frustrated that I was stressed and upset that she booked an emergency doctors appointment for me and sat in with me to tell the Doctor that I had to be off work.

To be honest, I don't think I'll be going back. I'm starting a formal grievance on Monday with my union so let's hope it gets sorted!

Thanks for all your help though ladies

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