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Really bad day at work

(10 Posts)
Smerlin Tue 30-Apr-13 18:46:36

Hi all

Have come home from work desperately upset after a meeting with my boss. Since becoming pregnant, I have had 6 days off on four occasions. One I was in hospital for due to threatened miscarriage and two were because my IBS symptoms have been made much worse by pregnancy and I cannot take any of my normal medications to control it due to pregnancy. The final one was due to fainting on Sunday which has left me with a splitting migraine for three days.

My boss is claiming that these absences are not pregnancy-related and that I will have to have a disciplinary meeting because of them. He then said that will help him decide what to do with me as he is not sure whether I am fit to continue working or even whether I will qualify for sick pay if I am unable to work (due to pregnancy I think- didn't understand where he was going with that one).

He said I could try seeing if the doctor would write a letter to state these illnesses were pregnancy-related but it sounds like he might not even believe it then! I thought that pregnancy-related illness didn't go on your record but how do I 'prove' it is pregnancy related? I know I wouldn't have had these issues if I weren't pregnant but he claims I would have done. I feel like he is trying to find a way to get rid of me before maternity leave and I really do not want to end up in a tribunal after all the problems I am having already!

wispa31 Tue 30-Apr-13 19:06:24

your boss is a fucking twat!! get to your docs and tell them exactly what you have said here. if you are in a union get onto your rep. they cant discipline you for sick absence related to pregnancy. they know this. hes being a cunt. nor can they sack you. and im sure someone else more knowledgeable will correct me if this is wrong but if they deem you unfit for your job due to pregnancy they have to suspend you on full pay.
get your doc to sign you off sick. and any time you need time off if you are unwell due to pg, they will make it clear on sick cert that it is pregnancy related illness.
and he will have to take docs word. he cant decide then that you/your doc is lying.

wispa31 Tue 30-Apr-13 19:10:24

oh, your doc could very well sign you off for the rest of your pregnancy and there is nothing your boss can do about it. its happened, and for those that have had to be signed off due to pregnancy probs they would have been on sick absence up until 36th week at which point they would automatically start your mat leave.
from what i understand from reading threads on here thats usually what happens, if any of that is incorrect im sure another mner will respond! hth.

Rockchick1984 Tue 30-Apr-13 19:23:16

Previous poster isn't completely accurate I'm afraid. Although I agree that your boss is being a twat!!

If your dr writes a sick note to explain that the absences are pregnancy related, they don't count towards absence trigger points and you cannot be disciplined for them. However, if they aren't pregnancy related then in theory they can be used as part of your normal sickness/absence triggers. Obviously the first absence can't be anything but pregnancy related, the IBS and the migraine I would speak to the dr about.

Regarding sick pay, they don't have to pay you full pay if you are unable to work confused they must pay you sick pay in line with company policy so for example if you could take 3 months fully paid then this is what you will receive if its pregnancy related. If you only receive SSP then you would get nothing for the first 3 days of an absence, then SSP after that.

I know how tough it is dealing with a shitty boss while pregnant, all I can suggest is to start doing everything by the book and going to the dr about every absence!

Monka Tue 30-Apr-13 23:02:20

Has he also done a pregnancy risk assessment on you? Most companies are actually supposed to do this and see if they can help you adjust if you have health issues its their duty of care. I have low blood pressure and finally saw my occupational healthy therapist I want access to the lifts in our underground car park as if I am dizzy I can't manage stairs which I will be given. She kept telling me that pregnancy isn't an illness which I agree with and suggested maybe I work reduced hours when all I actually want is access to the lifts!

When you declare sickness or absence does it state on the form whether it is due to pregnancy related illness? It does in my company and so any abscences don't get counted as trigger points.

craftycottontail Wed 01-May-13 00:32:29

Really horrible situation sad

Just watch out claiming they are all pregnancy related, isn't there some rule that if you have pregnancy-related sickness after a certain point they will start your maternity leave?? Maybe it's just at my work but might be worth having a thorough read of your HR / maternity policy.

Rockchick1984 Wed 01-May-13 10:38:15

Crafty that's after 36 weeks.

FoofFighter Wed 01-May-13 11:02:02

Clear advice on the legalities here: maternity Action this is a pdf file and here : gov.uk

BentleyBelly Wed 01-May-13 11:52:51

Join a union ASAP!! They will help you. I recently joined Unite after a couple of 'interesting' discussions with my boss regarding my maternity leave. You need someone to fight your corner. If you don't want to join a union then go visit your HR department with everything written down and make sure you always have a witness present at all meetings with your boss.

Smerlin Wed 01-May-13 19:24:36

Thanks for all the advice everyone! Fortunately I am a member of a union and they are looking into how they can support me today.

I am going to see my Dr next week - dont know if they write letters about this kind of thing or not though. The reason I have claimed that the IBS is pregnancy related is because my symptoms have been massively exacerbated by the bloating and digestive probs pregnancy brings and I can no longer take any medication to help with it!

He always sends pregnant women on mat leave at 36 weeks if they are ill- even if it is a cold for example and non pg-related. Funny as he seems to decide whether illnesses are pg-related or not depending how it suits him.

Anyway as a consequence I am planning as if I will have to start mat leave at 36wks. I am entitled to 100days full pay if signed off sick but I don't actually want to do that- I wanted to carry on working as I don't believe having a few days off in 1st trimester mostly means I am unable to work for rest of pg!

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