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Extremely stressed and worried with work and pregnancy

(17 Posts)
EllieUK Mon 30-May-11 17:31:06

OK long story short basically my employers havent been at all supportive about my pregnancy..i informed them as soon as i found out which was last thursday and they still have done nothing about it..i work in a place where there are health and safety issues for pregnant women but i still havent had an assessment..

I was expected to work my usual shifts this weekend just gone, i did request an easier shift and maybe switched to the till section as i was also feeling unwell but i was refused on the grounds that i had already had 2 days off to deal with my pregnancy and all the other staff had to compensate for my not being there..
By yesterday i was feeling even worse and by the last 2 hours of my shift i was almost doubled over from shooting pains down my legs, across my back, severe cramps and headache.
Went to A&E where they diagnosed me with severe UTI and signed me off for 72 hours ,to say that the manager was less than impressed was an understatement.

I just feel that they are not supportive in any way that they are looking for any excuse to fire me so they dont have to deal with me..its really stressing and im having a hard enough time as it is dealing with everything else..i didnt want to have to worry about losing my job too or them treating me like a leper all weekend..

OompaLumpa Mon 30-May-11 17:59:47

hi ellie i am sorry to hear that you are having a hard time, stress from work certainly wont be making things any easier for you. Do you have a HR dept you can talk to? Can i suggest keeping a diary of what is happening at work. Hopefully you wont need it but just in case.
Ask for a meeting with your boss when u go back, express your commitment to the job but explain that you cannot risk your or babies health and that you are sure he or she wouldnr want that either.
Hope you are feeling better soon.

thebean82 Mon 30-May-11 18:06:59

Hi, I totally agree with OompaLumpa... you definitely need to speak to HR and, if your company has one, ask for a referral to Occupational Health. Despite the horrendous attitude of your manager, they have a duty of care to you. The equality laws are also very clear so they would be idiots to discriminate against you. When I spoke to my Occupational Health person they were very clear that they never take any chances with pregnancy... as it just isn't worth it.... if anything went wrong they would be on shakey grounds. Definitely keep a diary. Are you in a trade union? This is also something I would recommend. I hope you feel better soon x

LoopyLoopsBettyBoops Mon 30-May-11 18:07:31

Have they done a health and safety assessment for your work? Make sure you request one, and make sure you know your rights.

MrsVidic Mon 30-May-11 18:50:37

It sounds like you work in a massive company with many managers. I would suggest speaking to your line managers, manager. Or someone in a more senior position who has been preg, if possible. They are being out of order and if this doesn't help go to hr.

EllieUK Mon 30-May-11 20:36:26

Thanx for your answers guys..unfortunately i work in a privately owned pub in a small village in north devon and to say that we get busy in the months leading up to summer and including half terms and bank holidays and weekends is an understatement...Ive worked in bars and pubs in central london so i know how busy these places can get but my current job gets rammed to a ridiculus level..from the minute our doors open at 9.30 till we close at 1am its non stop..Its very physically demanding and dealing with all thse customers does get emotionally exhausting too.
Unfortunately it doesnt have a hr department or even a trade union..i have been reading up on my rights and ordinarily i wouldnt hesitate to go to a tribunal as i have done this before with a previous employer..but i just dont have the energy..

We have a total of 5 managers including the general manager who i have been dealing with and also the owner who has been made aware of my pregnancy..he actually laughed when i told him there were certain things i couldnt do anymore like the heavy lifting, possibly the long shifts and standing on my feet all day..said it was part of my job description..and that i can apparently work like normal until my 16th week..according to the medical council

I did inform the general manager that i am entitled to a risk assessment etc and he seemed to have no clue what i was on about..

Ive also been at my current job for 2 years now, always try to make it into work even when im ill and im always the first person to volunteer when someone fones in sick or gets sent home etc...and this is the thanx i get..

Im sorry to keep whining all the time..usually im as healthy as a horse but this pregnancy has really knocked me for 6..as my mum would say lol

RockChick1984 Mon 30-May-11 22:56:38

Speak to your dr and ask them for a fit note stating the duties you/the dr agree you cannot do at present, legally they have got to accomodate this or if they cannot accomodate it you will be signed off work sick. It's awful going through something like this while pregnant (I experienced similar, but for a large company) are you in a union or anything who could speak to your manager for you? Is the pub owned by a brewery, could you contact them? I hope you get something sorted, if nothing else at least hopefully they have accepted that at 16 weeks thngs have got to change, although where they got this from is beyond me, I thought the first trimester was the most important time for this?

EllieUK Mon 30-May-11 23:31:28

No its privately owned by a family and ive already spoken to the owner..he doesnt seem to care..
I have been signed off for the next 72 hours as i went to a&e last night and was diagnosed with a severe uti..im constantly exhausted which i thought was because i was working so much..obviously its not the case..im finding the simplest tasks a real struggle..

I also thought the first trimester was the most important as this is the time when your at a high risk of miscarriage.

I dont know if i mentioned it before but im due for an early scan at the hospital tomorro as im cramping quite severely and the gynae doc who saw me last night wants to rule out a possible fallopian tube pregnancy or miscarriage..

My friend has just travelled up with from plymouth to accompany me tomorro and had brought me a bag of goodies as ive been too exhausted to go food shopping...awwww...im crying again lol..damn hormones..blush

RockChick1984 Mon 30-May-11 23:49:14

Good luck at the scan... I had a scan at 7 weeks due to severe cramping, everything was fine and the only reason I had the cramps I think was because of stress at work (had all sorts of issues with bullying manager at the time) but they told me before the scan that as I wasn't bleeding it was unlikely to be a miscarriage, I hope everything goes well for you. Have some cakes/chocolate and a good bitching session with your friend, and remember you can always just refuse to do any of the things the manager asks you to do and deal with the consequences, he would be an idiot to fire you for anything pregnancy related! If you need someone online to chat to you can pm me.

EllieUK Tue 31-May-11 16:53:58

Hi guys good news..went for my early pregnancy scan this morning and im apparently 4-5 weeks only lol..the baby is in the correct place and everything looks fine..
I also went bk to the docs to see if the could advise me on things i can do at work as im obviously still in agony with my UTI and he said to have until nxt monday off and hopefully ill be feeling much better by then and ill be able to continue as normal barring any other complications..grin

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Tue 31-May-11 17:57:04

Glad the scan went well... congratulations.

But honestly, it sounds as though you work in the most delightful place... not. Do you really need to put up with it?

Could you start looking for another job? Certainly, work is hard to find especially whilst pregnant and a new job would leave you looking at maternity allowance rather than statutory maternity pay... but the situation you're in sounds intolerable, nevertheless.

EllieUK Tue 31-May-11 18:29:44

Thanx
I have been debating looking for another job but i want to see how things progress for the next week or so after i go back to work next week..Im on cloud 9 after my scan and now ive decided that im not gonna let anything bother me..they cant fire me or discipline me or discriminate against me in any way cos of my pregnancy..and if they do they r shooting themselves in the foot.

Ive also written a letter formally confirming my pregnancy and my rights etc so they cant say they didnt kno i was pregnant or hope that i dont kno what my rights are hehehe..

Just outta curiousity..does breast milk really make good coffees?..smile

theonlyhb2 Tue 31-May-11 19:06:01

do you have a contract? there should be something in there to cover sick pay etc, otherwise I would put in writing to the owner that you are pregnant, that by law he has to do a risk assessment and is not allow to penalise you for pregnancy related illnesses, and you want him to confirm in writing when he will carry out the risk assessment as you have had no verbal answer. Add that you have been advised to do this by citizens advice and watch him squirm.

to be honest, if they not gonna pay you any maternity pay, I would tell them to f off x

Jill72 Tue 31-May-11 19:15:00

it sounds as if you are a single mum??? I understand the exhaustion and dread of gearing up with a fight and tribunals - sounds like you need to get some serious back up from someone to help fight your corner!! Would Citizens Advice be any help here??? Perhaps the mere mention of employment tribunals might be all that is needed to bring these neathanderals into line!! Also you might want to put a list of suggestions together of the solutions / needs you want - they won't have a clue and might be imagining all sorts of things - at least this way they may see a clearer do-able situation. I would also try and get some support from co-workers too - if they are on your side and willing to step in where you can't again you have already found solutions to the issues. I also think keeping a diary is essential and insist on having everything in writing - this will send a message in it's self! Why should you give up your stat mat pay because of their attitude - you can always leave later on when you have had what they owe you!!

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Tue 31-May-11 19:27:27

<Just outta curiousity..does breast milk really make good coffees?..>

I have no idea whatsoever, the name has no real life connotations at all. Well, except that I breastfeed and probably drink too much coffee grin

I like the idea of writing a formal letter. But I think getting some official advice from the CAB on how to word it would be good. If only, as Jill says, to scare them a bit...

Snuppeline Tue 31-May-11 19:31:22

Sorry to hear it is so difficult. Sounds almost like the company hasn't dealt with a pregnant employe before. That's not your problem though, they should seek advice.

Do you see yourself coming back to this workplace? If they are this shitty they will continue to be so, or even worse, when you have your baby (if baby is ill and you have to sign off to look after it). To be perfectly honest if you have the right to receive sick pay then I would just sign off sick as often as I felt necessary to ensure the health of myself and my baby - provided there was no reasoning with them (i.e. if they don't let you do the easier shifts or follow your gp's advice). I would then take the statutory maternity pay and then not go back after maternity leave. Perhaps not ideal or very moral but sounds like they might make life so difficult for you that there isn't any other options. Give them the benefit of doubt though, they might scrub up.

EllieUK Tue 31-May-11 21:39:19

I have written them an official letter confirming my pregnancy, that i also did verbally communicate it the general manager on thursday 26th etc etc

Have also requested a risk assessment and included a number of things which should be looked at especially as my pregnancy progresses, heavy lifting etc etc

If the cannot remove the risk then alternative work should be offered and if this isnt possible to suspend me on full pay until my maternity leave.

The doc has told me to take until sunday off as im still in quite alot of pain from my UTI and my job is very physically demanding so he told me to stop stressing and just relax...bless him he was actually very lovely.
He was also very surprised at how they are treating me too..said that its next to impossible for employers to get away with treating their pregnant workers like this as the laws are very much in our favour..and also that apparently the government pay employers back the maternity pay..i found that very interesting..shock
And if worst comes to worst i should think about mine and my babies health which is more important and leave..i can always get government help if necessary..(i cringed at this point)

Ive always been extremely independent and have always hated the thought of getting handouts from the government..find it degrading but i understand that its necessary for some people..yes i might work in bar jobs, deal with some crappy people who look down their nose at me and get payed just above the minimum wage but its my money and i earnt every penny.

My mum (bless her and i love her to pieces) was a single parent raising 5 kids on a crappy council estate in east london, my dad is a self made millionaire, take my hat off to him cos he has worked extremely hard for everything hes got, who didnt really wanna help support his kids..

I promised myself years ago that i would never end up like either one of them..that sounds really harsh and horrible and i am really really proud of both of them and their accomplishments..but as long as i am able to work and save i dont want to raise my child how i was raised...

Sorry for the rant..

And yes i do have the babys father for support..to a certain extent lol hes slightly overwhelmed at the mo with the news so dont wanna send him over the edge with my rants..he is a tad younger than i am also

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