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Can I say NO??

(8 Posts)
lolly1988 Sat 27-Apr-13 21:39:49

Hi there,
If anyone can help? I am having problems with my company I work for and I feel like they are putting me and my baby at risk by doing so. I work in a physical job lifting standing all day and working with chemicals. They have known I have been pregnant for 3 months, I am 22 weeks pregnant and I have been diagnosed with sciatica. Which I am now being referred for physio for. I have brought up concerns that I have and it seems that no one really understands what to do even the hr dept!! They have offered light duties or taking me out the groomers onto shop floor to sit at the till but can't do this for a while until they can get cover? They are causing me stress and I feel obliged to carry on with what I'm doing which seems to be putting myself and baby at risk!? What shall I do? And can I legally say no?

Fairy130389 Sat 27-Apr-13 21:58:17

They have to give you a risk assessment, and i'm pretty sure they have to provide you with duties that are safe. - if they cant, i think they need to send you home with pay... i'm sure some hr bod will be along soon who will know for sure though

lolly1988 Sat 27-Apr-13 22:28:53

Thanks for your reply, they have done my risk assessment but nothing else has changed even though things have been flagged as bring a risk, it seems that they can't do much until they get cover?

syl1985 Sat 27-Apr-13 23:24:40

From the moment they know that you are pregnant they'll have to make sure that the work that you do is safe for both you and your baby.

It's their problem if they haven't got anyone else to fill your shoes on the work floor. Not your problem!

You're totally allowed to refuse the work. Just stay at home and say that you're to ill to work. You're happy to come back when they've got work for you that isn't harmful for you or for your baby.

Don't worry about being scared that they'll fire you. It's not allowed as long as you're pregnant.

It must be hard to stand up for your right. But don't feel bad about it. It's not you who's ruing the work atmosphere. It's the one in charge who should have given you alternative work from the second you told him that it isn't safe anymore for you to do this kind of heavy work.


Shylepite Sat 27-Apr-13 23:28:02

Contact acas, they are great with this sort of thing. Their staffing issues are not your problem, they have a duty to you and your unborn baby to not put you at risk and they shouldn't be asking you to do things that have been flagged up in your risk assessment.

SourSweets Sun 28-Apr-13 04:31:37

I had a very similar problem and ended up having to write a letter of grievance to my HR department. I had previously spoken to a government hotline regarding maternity and pregnancy at work (fairly easy to google the number- sorry I can't remember it) so I put in lots of legal jargon in there. They ended up investigating my manager who has been given a disciplinary for failing her duty of care. While the atmosphere is not great now, it doesn't matter to me as my health and baby's health comes first. They legally have to change your duties to those suitable for a pregnant employee and if they can't do this they have to send you home with full pay until they can. It is a hard fight to have to make, but it's way worth it and you are the one in the right, not them. Good luck!

FoofFighter Sun 28-Apr-13 09:24:34

if they cannot accomodate your needs they have to suspend you on full pay.

IJustWoreMyTrenchcoat Sun 28-Apr-13 13:49:22

Just wanted to say about you sciatica - could it be pelvic girdle pain? Ask your physio, the two could be confused. I have PGP and physical aspects to my job that I can normally avoid, but when I am on my own and try to do them I am in agony for the rest of the day and unable to sleep a night.
If your job is very physical you employer should address this. Hope you get sorted.

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