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Work Nightmare

(7 Posts)
Alias78 Mon 21-Jan-13 22:44:13

Don't know if I'm asking for advice or need to let off steam but here goes...

I am 8 weeks pg and hate my job. Really despise being there. My boss is a very miserable, snobbish woman who loves putting others down. She's pretty much a bully. I have learnt how to "manage" her over the years and she seems to think highly of me with regards to my work skills. I had to tell her I was pg v early on as I have a medical condition which means I'm going to be at the hospital a lot and I know I'd struggle to get the time off if I didn't tell her.

At first she was fine but has gradually started to put more pressure on me. As I've mentioned I've been having quite a bit of time off for hospital appointments and a couple of sick days when I've been totally exhausted. She keeps asking me if I've finished this project, that project, insisted I go to unnecessary meetings with her and a few days ago asking why I haven't completed a project she asked me to do. I hadn't been given a deadline and I have a team of colleagues she could have asked to help when I've not been there.

I know she has a department to take care of and I should be flattered she regards me as important but I hate every minute I'm there. I will be takin maternity leave as soon as humanly possible but Im worried what to do in the meantime. I could go sick and spend my time at home worrying about going back. I've asked to work from home and been told no. I could also ask for reduced hours but I'm so early on in my pg I honestly think if I lost the baby (god forbid) she would actually gloat and wouldn't let me forget how "difficult" I'd been in such an early stage of pg. oh and I'm on a 3 month notice period so can't even quit easily!

I don't know what to do sad

KnackeredCow Tue 22-Jan-13 00:10:47

Has she arranged a risk assessment for you? An employer has a legal obligation to do this for pregnant employees.

Also, she must give you paid time off for appointments, and sickness absence due to pregnancy cannot be counted against you.

Can you speak to her line manager about the situation?

stowsettler Tue 22-Jan-13 06:23:27

KnackeredCow is right on all counts. Ask for your risk assessment - you should be involved in this as you are the best person to know what is likely to affect you.

It's a good idea to try to speak to her line manager, because she really isn't handling your situation very well at all. In fact an accumulation of such behaviour sounds like discrimination to me under the Equality Act. Her bosses may not like the idea that she's giving you grounds for constructive dismissal!!!

Alias78 Tue 22-Jan-13 08:23:38

I asked for a risk assessment and though she said she's happy for me to have one, HR think it's a bit soon?! I'm happy to insist though. I've wen given the impression that risk assessment is just to make sure my immediate working environment is safe. Is there more to it than that?

barely know my boss's line manager. If I approach her I'm not sure it'll help, I'm sure my boss would be furious!

Perhaps I should tell my boss I'm struggling and that her demands are putting pressure on me? Or I could go to HR about it? I think she needs to understand I need to slow down at the moment not have more pressure on.

Petcat Tue 22-Jan-13 09:57:12

I empathise, my work situation sounds very similar to yours. If I wasn't expecting this baby I would definitely be looking for a new job.

I have spent several years working under inordinate amounts of stress: some related to workload, but just as much from the office politics, particularly the behaviour of my manager.

I had to take a fair bit of time off in my first trimester due to a threatened miscarriage, so I had no choice about telling work ealier than I would have liked. Your employer has to immediately carry out a risk assessment once you've notified them of your pregnancy in writing. I asked for a risk assessment from my organisation's HR Officer when I was about 10 weeks along - my job involves a lot of travel, long hours, manual handling, and standing for long periods, which all contributed to me feeling exhausted and very stressed. I also needed to stop doing certain things in order to comply with the medical advice I had been given.

A proper risk assessment should cover not only physical risks but also stress and workload. When it came to my risk assessment I think the pregnancy hormones took over a bit and I just told the HR Officer exactly how pressured I felt most of the time. Fortunately I had the sense not to say anything personal about my manager (if yours is a bully I would be very careful to avoid making her look like the source of your troubles as this could make life tough for you until your mat leave starts)

My manager hasn't been particularly nice to me about my pregnancy, but I have noticed a lot less pressure and a reduction in my workload. Ensure you get your concerns recorded in writing; should you need to leave work because they failed to make reasonable adjustments you could have grounds for unfair dismissal. My HR Officer now carries out a risk assessment review with me every 8 weeks, and we record and agree what was discussed after each one.

Unfortunately many women are treated even more crappily by their employers once they become pregnant. Nonetheless you do have rights at work - you can read more about the laws that protect you on the HSE website

Alias78 Tue 22-Jan-13 10:36:53

Thank you Petcat. It does sound like our situations are similar. I have spoken to HR and a meeting is to be arranged. I will try to keep things non-personal and stick to the facts. My boss hasn't said anything to me yet this morning. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. I will make sure I look through my rights.

Thank you x

Petcat Tue 22-Jan-13 10:55:21

It was an enormous relief when I gave the written notice of when I intend to start my maternity leave. I'm also using my annual leave to work reduced hours for my final month. I have found out I am very likely to be made redundant while I'm on maternity leave and in a way it has helped me to care a lot less about everything. In the meantime I've made myself a little countdown calendar for the number of days I have left, and take great pleasure in crossing off each day before I go home. I'm taking a year off work and I can't wait.

Hope you manage to resolve some of the issues you're facing, and have a lovely, stress-free pregnancy smile

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