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19 weeks Pregnant . I could get signed of work. Should I take advantage of this ?

(47 Posts)
Oblomov Wed 25-Jun-08 21:11:53

I don't know what to do.
Becasue I had a car crash last weeek, because I was diabeticallly low and because an ambulance needed to be called.
Prof phoned me from Kings. She has been my diabetic consultant for the last 5 years. No more driving for me. Atleast for 3 months.
I did catch the train home last week with ds, it took 3 hours with 3 changes. It normally takes me 20 mins to drive to wrok.
Prof said she would sign me of sick if required.
Dh has asked my neighbour and he has agreed to take me and collect me on my 2.5 days.
Or should I just say stuff it, accept being signed off, during the next few lovely summer months. Enjoy spending time with ds, at this special time. I will get bigger and more uncomfortable. My diabetes may go to pot later.
I have been at my firm for over 2 years. They pay 3 motnhs full and 3 months half sick pay, at their descretion.
I am only 19 weeks now. Could they not pay me? Make me start my mat leave early. Could they argue that the diabetes is non pregnancy/pregnancy related. Plus there is nothing actually wrong with me. It is only due to the fact that gettting to work is so very stressful, thus I could argue that that in itself would make my diabetes go beserk.
I have just started a new ccounts job. VERY VERY well paid. For one or two afternoons a week. Just down the road. I could continue with this job.

What to do ?

PeachyHidingInTheShed Wed 25-Jun-08 21:17:25

with ds2 i was signed off from 20 weeks- it was fab and ds1 benefitted immensely

acas can you give you the lowdown on their website but the date for firced mat leave is far away yet I think

littleducks Wed 25-Jun-08 21:20:11

I would prob want to take advantage of this, but I'm pretty sure if your signed off work that applies to all work, you cant continue with your other job

nervousal Wed 25-Jun-08 21:23:43

no - you can be signed off one job and still able to go to another one - as long as the jobs are different. e.g. if you're not up to long drive to one work, but could easily walk to other. Or if one included standing for long periods and with other you could sit

Oblomov Wed 25-Jun-08 21:45:19

Thank you.
I just can't decide what to do.
My sil just phoned. She said don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
I love my job, but i realise that it is not the be all and end all. The don't give 2 stuffs about me.
We are part of a big group. Some of the other companies offer very good maternity packages. Mine only offer statutory. I did mention this to HR.
I just mean, you have to look after yourself don't you. No company cares about a piddly employee like me, right ?

flowerybeanbag Thu 26-Jun-08 09:16:14

Oblomov sorry to hear you've had such a rough time.

Things to think about -

Your work can't start your maternity leave because you are off sick until 36 weeks.

If your sick pay is discretionary in theory they could not pay you although in practice they'd be daft not to if you are pregnant and they usually pay people.

If you want to continue in your other job be very sure that you are definitely not up to your main job - if they find out you are working elsewhere they may want to put you through more stringent checks in terms of your fitness to work, you may have to see a doctor they send you to or occ health or something, particularly as sick pay is so generous. Just because this Prof will sign you off sick doesn't mean their doctor will agree...

Can you do any of it from home if it is the travelling that's the problem?

Have you had a H&S risk assessment? If travelling is a risk for you but you are fit to work, they should make adjustments to your job for you, enabling you to do it from home or travel less often or something.

If you are signed off, be sure it is down as pregnancy-related sickness, as this can't be 'counted' for reference or disciplinary purposes as part of your sick record.

That doesn't tell you what to do, but hopefully some useful information to help you decide!

Oblomov Thu 26-Jun-08 09:35:24

oh Flowery, thank thank you.
I have been dreaming about you. grin
No seriuosly I have missed you and think about you often.
And I was wondering whether you would see this thread.

Yes, the travelling is the issue. I live in Surrey, but it might as well be the outer hebrides, for the trains and the buses.
Like I said, I am actually well enough to work. It is the travel. The fact that I have been told not to drive by Prof.
They could pay for me to get a cab, couldn't they ?
It takes 20 minutes in the car. Or 3 hrs and 3 changes on the train. Or 2 hours and 3 changes on the bus. I could argue that the travelling , with ds in tow, is so stressful that it makes my diabetes/pregnancy worse ?

I did apply to work form home, a while ago, when I was considering moving and asked to work form home 1 or 2 days a week. But that was flatly refused.
I work in accounts so need to go in and see invoices, stautory accounts etc. And they said supervision could not be done by e-mail or phone (?????????)

I have been a diabetic for over 30 years, so I am wondering whether they are going to claim that it is, or it isn't a pregnancy related issue. I mean I could have gone low and had a hypo, and crashed my car, anytime. Not just related to pregnancy. But pregnnacy does indeed make your diabetes go mad.

Do I just need to let them know and see what they say ? They may pay me, or they may try and find ways to get me to work. I suspect the latter.

flowerybeanbag Thu 26-Jun-08 09:48:28


I've been thinking about you as well wondering how you were doing - haven't bumped into you lately.

An application to work from home for your own convenience isn't the same as one for your health and safety, so don't worry about the fact they refused you before.

if it were me at your employer and you presented me with a medical certificate I would be sending you to see occ health or something straight away to work out exactly what the risks are, find out about your diabetes, what would make it worse, what work is acceptable and what adjustments to your work would be appropriate, then I'd be getting you to work.

However I am not there, fortunately for you grinwink

If you don't want to work at all, even a compromise of combination of working at home, coming in different times or whatever, then you could get yourself signed off sick, try (if you can) to make sure the medical certificate doesn't say anything about it being the travelling that is the problem, then just see what they do. They may try and investigate further or they may let it go, depending on how on the ball they are.

They are obliged to make adjustments for H&S reasons as I've said, so if you are prepared to do some work you can get the travelling issue sorted. But if you'd rather not (and I can see why!), then might be worth trying the med certificate first.

Oblomov Thu 26-Jun-08 10:23:14

Flowery, that is my gut reaction aswell. If someone couldn't GET to work, as an employee I would pay a cab or whatever, in order to get them there.
Or maybe it is not their cost/their responsibility.
I would be very very surprsied if they just laid down and paid me full sick pay.
They could get another 3-4 months of work out of me, before my due date.

I suppose I just need to wait for them, and see what they say ?

flowerybeanbag Thu 26-Jun-08 10:37:41

I'd say, get yourself signed off sick first, then at least you are making them jump through hoops a bit before getting you working again.

If they do challenge it, and get you checked out further, at least they will then have to acknowledge that it's a H&S issue and will have to either pay for cabs or let you work from home or whatever for a few months.

Chequers Thu 26-Jun-08 10:43:32

Message withdrawn

windygalestoday Thu 26-Jun-08 10:52:21

i think you should get a shorter sick note buy yourself some time and see what happens.

having said that the professor wouldnt advise a long sick note if she didnt believe you needed it and she knows your diabetes well.

its v hard depending on neighbours for lifts and eqully taxi fares can mount up.

are you returning to this same job after your mat leave?

Oblomov Thu 26-Jun-08 11:45:13

You are right chequers.
I can of course take my neighbour up on his offer.
I have just phoned work and told them that ... SO FAR, I have not come up with any way of getting to work.
HR said, that she would need to check with my dept, to see what budget they had available and if they had any ideas.

Maybe I have just been a bit swayed by people telling me to take advantage of the sick pay. And the lovely idea of putting my feet up for the next few motnhs. Sorry, I think I got a bit carried away with the image of that, sitting in the garden drinking pimms blush
Realistically , of course, I could get to work, I could pay my neighbour myself.
I will wait to see what they come back with.

Chequers Thu 26-Jun-08 11:47:30

Message withdrawn

elkiedee Thu 26-Jun-08 11:50:03

Take the sick note and suggest they refer you to occupational health, then ask oh about working from home.

PeachyHidingInTheShed Thu 26-Jun-08 12:10:59

Surely the most sensible thing is to call your Professor, and ask her straight out if she recommends you to take sick leave in the case of transport being sorted? ook for a yes or no answer.

RibenaBerry Thu 26-Jun-08 14:10:17

What Peachy said - ask your professor what she would be saying if travel was sorted. If she would be saying you are fit for work she almost certainly will not sign a blanket sick note saying that you are unfit.

If I was your employer, I would be suggesting a cab/working from home combination and would be very resistant to a full sign off if travel was the only problem. After all, they can pay you full salary and get no work (based on your sickness policy) or pay you full salary plus cab fare and get work out of you...

JessJess3908 Thu 26-Jun-08 17:51:57

What Elk said...

I have a good friend with diabetes - it goes loopy in the summer so may need to take it easy over the summer months? Do you do a job where it would be reasonable to work from home? If so, it wouldn't cost them much/take much effort on their part to set you up to work from home.

My sister got signed off with stress at 4 months pg. I am now 7 months pg and still working full time (but only for another 4 weeks grin). I didn't realise how lucky she was at the time - but in retrospect i'm insanely jealous!

StellaWasADiver Thu 26-Jun-08 17:56:58

From a moral point of view, I say do it, enjoy the time with DS, being pregnant in the heat isn't much fun as it is without 3 hours worth of travelling to do.

Sorry you've had a lousy time and hope you are feeling better soon

Oblomov Fri 27-Jun-08 21:51:06

Thank you everyone.
I have phoned them and they will get back to me on Monday.
I , like Flowerybeanbag suggested, fail to believe that they will , and these are my words - "let me get away with this".
We will see.

Oblomov Thu 17-Jul-08 14:31:46

Question for the attention of Flowerybeanbag:

Hi Flowery.
I am off sick. My work said that was what they would prefer. I was shocked, but grateful.
Off sick I get 3 months full pay then 3 months half pay.
So I am due 17 Nov 08.
But highly likely I will be c-sectioned end Oct prob.
Started sick pay from 1st July I think.
So I get 3 months full pay = end of sept. Then half pay.
Today got my letter from my work. Nice letter. Detailed.
but they say that becasue it is a pregnancy related condition, I must start my maternity on 19th Oct. 4 wks before EWC.

I am thinking, I have had diabetes for 34 years. I had a diabetic hypo whilst driving. Yes I am pregnant, but I could have had a diabetic hypo whilst driving, ANYTIME.

It is in my interests to argue that it is not pregnancy related. Because then from 1 oct until day of giving birth, I will get half sick pay.
THEN start my maternity leave, right ?

I know they have been very good. But this is in my interests. And they only offer stat maternity pay anyway, so I need to get as much half sick pay as I can.

What do you think ?

Blu Thu 17-Jul-08 14:43:04

Think back to what Flowery said about pg-related sick time not showing on records in references...that might be one factor to consider....depending on whether that matters to you or not.

flowerybeanbag Thu 17-Jul-08 14:58:57

Hmmm. Trouble is, they've allowed you to go on full sick pay because they would prefer it, you said yourself you weren't actually not fit for work, it was a travelling thing.

Have checked Equality Human Rights for definition of pg-related sickness

'It is not always clear whether an illness is pregnancy related. Some conditions are partly related to pregnancy and sometimes pregnancy makes existing conditions, such as back problems, worse. In either case if a woman has to take time off work or is otherwise affected by her pregnancy it will be pregnancy related. '

So if your diabetes were affected by your pregnancy to the extent that you are having to take time off work, then it's pregnancy-related. But your issue is you had a crash caused by your diabetes and now can't drive as a result. So the question would be did your pregnancy exacerbate your diabetes and make it more likely to happen. I'd be asking for a medical opinion if I were the employer. Have they done that, and why are they assuming the incident was caused by your pregnancy?

Problem is, as you said, it's only the driving that's a problem, you didn't actually need to be signed off sick, but rather than faff around with cabs or homeworking, your employer has said you can go off on full pay then half pay. So insisting that it isn't pregnancy related and saying you'd rather stay off sick might well backfire on you, they may say in that case work from home or get a lift in and come to work iyswim.

It's iffy whether it's better to be pg-related or not. There is the reference/disciplinary issue where pg-related sickness can't 'count', but obviously it does mean they can start your leave when it gets to 36 weeks,

Tbh I think as they have allowed you to go off with generous sick pay which they needn't have done, you might be best off giving in and starting mat leave at 36 weeks, to avoid loss of goodwill on their part. If you want to stand firm and insist it is not pregnancy related, I would be prepared to provide a medical opinion along those lines, from your GP or specialist.

HTH, and hope you are feeling ok

Oblomov Thu 17-Jul-08 15:27:51

Thank you. I will give it some thought.
I am fine. Fed up of stripping wallpaper, to turn spare room into nursery. But other than that, fine. smile
How are you doing ?

flowerybeanbag Thu 17-Jul-08 19:19:19

Sorry had to run and get DS up from his nap.

I'm really good thanks, working hard at the moment - have you seen the new website?. If you know anyone who might need me do point them in my direction...

Trying to organise a do for our 10th anniversary next month as well, so it's all go!

Glad you're ok although I can imagine wallpaper stripping not anyone's idea of a pleasant relaxing time!

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