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Sickness/Mat leave

(18 Posts)
firsttimer84 Tue 19-Jul-11 18:53:02

Hi, currently 31 weeks with first baby. I work full time in a fairly physical job but have been on lighter duties since telling them I'm pregnant. I want to make it until at least mid august before taking mat leave, I want to keep a lot for after baby is born.

My pregnancy is high risk (type 1 diabetic) but my control has been excellent and baby is normal size etc. I've had low bp since 2nd trimester which means I've had to keep my feet up a lot- again work have been really good and told me to take a break whenever I want.

Now though I feel generally awful. I've been off today and still feel exhausted and faint. I worked on saturday (my turn to work weekend) and I came home on my break and burst into tears as I was so tired.

Anyway (get to the point firsttimer!) I'm thinking of going off sick until I take maternity in August. I'm extremely scared that they will force me to take my maternity leave early instead. Can they legally do this? I work for the council.

I'd also like to say that before I was pregnant I had no sympathy for women who moaned about pregnancy and very much thought its pregnancy not an illness for goodness sake! But now obviously feeling generally awful I'm eating my words! Thanks for reading

Eifos21 Tue 19-Jul-11 19:00:49

I am more than certain that they can force you to start your Mat leave early. sad

doughnutty Tue 19-Jul-11 19:02:03

Earliest they can force mat leave is 4 weeks before edd.
Sounds like you need more than light duties now so get to your GP. You've done well to get this far in a physical job. Try not to guilt trip yourself about work - you need to keep some strength up for labour and baby duties.

If you are feeling guilty can you get over it a little by taking some holidays? Maybe your work will let you temporarily cut your hours by taking some leave. Either less days or shorter days. But be wary if this will affect your wages which could in turn affect your SMP.

doughnutty Tue 19-Jul-11 19:03:37

Check out the direct gov website for info on this as some places are not aware that these rules changed (used to be 11 weeks).

firsttimer84 Tue 19-Jul-11 19:45:10

Thanks a lot for your replies. We've just had a new boss so its difficult asking her opinion. Once I ask the question "can I go off sick and not get forced early maternity" she's obviously going to know what I'm doing! Although saying that the protocols and procedures should be the same in all departments. (sorry thinking out loud)

Thanks again

MrBitey Tue 19-Jul-11 19:49:48

Hi, my employers (not local authority but public sector) advised me that maternity leave would only get started early if I went off with a pregnancy related illness. Check with your human resources department and talk to your GP, mine signed me off with work based stress and anxiety and my work were fine about it. I did go back for two weeks before my ML started though.

allthefires Tue 19-Jul-11 20:06:37

Doughnutty is correct. Can only impose early mat leave if pregnancy related illness within 4weeks of edoc

notasausage Tue 19-Jul-11 20:19:58

I'm civil service and 34 weeks. Can only force you to take mat leave if pregnancy related illness 4 weeks before due date. Think it did used to be 11 weeks before but deffinately 4 weeks now.

firsttimer84 Tue 19-Jul-11 20:38:40

Thanks so much. I was planning on starting mat leave 4 weeks before anyway as they probably won't let me go full term due to high risk.

doughnutty Thu 21-Jul-11 21:40:49

Also worth bearing in mind any pregnancy related sickness should not be recorded in your file for disciplinary purposes (although should be recorded).
You don't have to worry about having sanctions imposed if you were to hit any absence triggers while on pregnancy related sick leave.

Hope you feel better soon though and all goes well with the rest of your pregnancy smile

kri5ty Fri 22-Jul-11 09:43:07

hey girls, does anyone kow a link to any website where it says it is 4 weeks? As i have been told by my employer later month it was 11 weeks...

I just want to be prepared in case they try to force me that early x

firsttimer84 Fri 22-Jul-11 09:49:34

I got my maternity gumph through the day after I posted this and it is 4 weeks. Not sure if that's just local authority. May depend on your companies policies and procedures.

Also in the gumph it said that they have to reduce my hours to suit me without any financial detriment to me or if I still can't do my job they can suspend me on full pay until I go on maternity leave.

Kri5ty have you had your maternity forms through yet?

kri5ty Fri 22-Jul-11 10:01:39

erm no... im only 20 weeks, is that too early to get them through?

I had a load of maternity guidelines from work... but they were very out of date so maybet hats why it still says 11 weeks?

doughnutty Fri 22-Jul-11 10:06:27

www.direct.gov.uk On phone so can't link but it's easy to find once there.
Has all the info you will need about mat leave/pay etc. Worth looking at before any issues arise at work so you know your rights (and limitations).

Wormshuffler Fri 22-Jul-11 10:06:54

Would it be easier to take your sickness one week at a time and not tell them you plan to do it up until the end? also would the GP actually give you a sick note for tiredness?

doughnutty Fri 22-Jul-11 10:13:01

I work for a v large, well known, been around for 125 years, retailer whose hr policies had not been updated more than a year after this change. If I hadn't emailed the link to directgov to my boss, who then had to clarify with head office hr, I would have had 7 weeks less with my baby because of being forced onto mat leave early.
Don't be penalised in this way just for having a 'bad' pregnancy. It's not you (or your babies fault!)
HTH

doughnutty Fri 22-Jul-11 10:17:24

My gp only signed me off for 2/3 weeks at a time. Exhaustion is a legitimate reason for needing time off. GP should take blood though to make sure you're not anaemic-you might need iron tablets.

kri5ty Fri 22-Jul-11 10:25:54

hmm yes i may just do that... take a few weeks off (not in the 4 weeks coming up to the birth though) i plan on working up until 2 weeks before (plus an extra 1 week on top from holidays i have saved)... so really i could be off sick... up until 4 weeks before... have my week of holiday, then start my maternity 2 weeks before!

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