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Can you ask to be signed off?

(28 Posts)
AlmondFrangipani Wed 01-May-13 20:09:47

Hi Girls,

Long story short...I have Chronic Kidney Disease which I have had all my life. I am under Consultant care and have been advised to expect my baby somewhere between 32-38 weeks but more likely early. Currently I have booked 2 weeks holiday for weeks 30 & 31 of my pregnancy (currently 26 weeks). I don't really want to unnecessarily use my mat leave and wondered if I can ask the Consultant to sign me off from 32 weeks??? Work are geared up for me to go off then anyway (as am I!). I know at 36 weeks I will automatically be on mat leave if I am off sick with a pregnancy related condition but at least I will only use 2 weeks at that point if I am lucky enough to go to 38 weeks which I would have done if I was 'normal'! Thanks!

pinkr Wed 01-May-13 20:29:14

I think you'll only get signed off if you're ill surely? Although if its a chronic condition etc you could ask and see!

breatheslowly Wed 01-May-13 20:34:36

My lovely GP signed me off at 29 weeks for a few weeks until my planned annual leave at 36 weeks so that my ML wasn't triggered early. She was very happy to sign me off as she thought that working hard wasn't good for my baby and was causing my BP to rise (not to treatable levels, but borderline). Just ask, the worst they can say is no.

AlmondFrangipani Wed 01-May-13 20:38:43

Thanks Breathes. That is what I am hoping too. Although I am not ill at the moment I have high blood pressure and have an increased risk of pre-eclampsia and have a stressful/tiring job so was hoping to go down a similar route to you! If the Consultant doesnt seem keen I will see if I can see the GP....

patchesmcp Thu 02-May-13 07:02:45

I have been signed off by 3 different GPs during this pregnancy because I have been so exhausted. No underlying medical condition. One of them wanted to sign me off for 4 weeks, but I actually talked him down to a week because I really wanted to go back to work as I'd stuff that needed doing.

Just go and see them and explain the difficulties you're having. I was exhausted with horrible back and hip pain and just not sleeping. Being signed off made a huge difference as I could nap during the day and lie down and I felt so much better.

Good luck and remember you are the only person who knows if you can cope being at work.

Mutley77 Mon 06-May-13 08:01:50

I'm not sure what you are trying to acheive by being signed off - if you are ill you can't go into work but if you are not then you should go in anyway?

Your mat leave will be triggered by the birth of the baby (early or not) so if you have it at 32 weeks that will be the first day of your mat leave irrespective of whether you are signed off sick.

Hope you and your baby are healthy.

Strikeuptheband Mon 06-May-13 08:10:46

I was signed off at 24 weeks due to previous pregnancy history. Yes, you absolutely can I am sure. Speak to your consultant about when you should be best signed off - and do take it if it will give your baby a better chance.

Mutley, there are unfortunately a lot of conditions and illnesses that can kill mother and baby which can be much improved through resting to prevent it happening. Examples include premature labour, preeclampsia, etc. This might be one of them. The OP might feel well enough to go to work but might put less strain on her body if she does not and have a better outcome if she is signed off before she gets ill?

Mutley77 Mon 06-May-13 08:35:37

Strikeuptheband - yes of course I understand that, but surely if a medical professional was advocating that rest was essential there isn't a question about whether or not they would sign the mother off work. It is not clear from the initial post that the OP is asking to be signed off for this reason. It reads to me like she is hoping to be signed off to have time off prior to the baby's birth which is exactly what mat leave (not sickness leave) is for.

LoganMummy Mon 06-May-13 09:16:00

I was signed off by GP at 28 weeks following advice of consultant. I was hoping to go back to work after a couple of weeks but didn't feel any better so GP kept giving me sick lines - all you need to do is ask.

Hope you feel ok.

AuntieStella Mon 06-May-13 09:27:16

You can only be signed off if you are sufficiently unwell as to be unable to work. I hope for both your sake and that of the baby that you stay well.

You cannot plan to be ill, so the short answer is no - if you do not want to work after 32 weeks, the only way to achieve this is by starting your Maternity Leave.

Strikeuptheband Mon 06-May-13 10:34:23

That is simply not true! I was signed off due to the risk of my condition worsening through the stress of my job. My job hadn't made me ill yet, but it had contributed in previous pregnancies. I was signed off as a preventative measure.

wispa31 Mon 06-May-13 11:11:04

ive been off work last few weeks myself due to sickness and being so tired from lack of sleep as im waking up with pain in my hips/lower back. i have had no problem with being signed off by my gp at all. hoping to get back in this week but i will need a doctors letter to able to get an adjustable chair for my desk at work.
if you need some time off to be able to rest properly ask to be signed off.

Mutley77 Mon 06-May-13 14:16:15

I suppose it is all about work ethic, it wouldn't be right to me to get signed off to rest if I were pregnant particularly as a preventative measure. At times in pregnancy for whatever reason you do need to rest but you need to do that around your work commitments IMO. If I couldn't do that I would take mat leave not ask for a sick note.

But then I work for a charity and I would never cause my employer to have to spend money unnecessarily - perhaps if I worked for a big business I wouldn't be so conscientious.

AuntieStella Mon 06-May-13 14:26:01

You shouldn't be signed off as a preventative measure. You should be referred to OH, and proper risk assessments and adjustments made.

breatheslowly Mon 06-May-13 17:09:58

If your doctor is willing to sign you off then that is enough. You really don't need strangers on the Internet arguing and attempting to persuade you that you are well enough to work.

Foodylicious Mon 06-May-13 17:50:40

Pregnancy will be putting a stain on your CKD so your CKD is making you more tired and sick, get signed off with that if you need to. all the best, hope getting a bit of rest helps smile

plentyofsoap Mon 06-May-13 20:25:55

Ive been signed off work for quite a few weeks. My doctor is happy to do this with the reasons I gave. Pregnancy is not an illness, but it can make you poorly due to various complications. Do what is best for you and baby.

Sommink Mon 06-May-13 20:41:04

I was signed off at 17 weeks as doctor felt I was unfit and unsafe to do my job. I was lucky though, he had previously worked in the same area and understood how demanding my job could be. had very low blood pressure though, was monitored weekly but I think work realised I wouldn't be back. In the end Doc signed me off for 6 weeks to bring me up to leaving date.

Sparkeleigh Mon 06-May-13 22:52:58

It might be worth checking your contract, I can't remember the exact wording but my last one said that if I was signed off sick for reasons due to pregnancy then my employer can start my maternity leave from then.

Strikeuptheband Tue 07-May-13 01:06:39

They can only start your ML from 36 weeks. I printed off stuff from the DWP website to show my doctor.
And I disagree that you have to wait until you get ill before you get signed off. Especially if said illness caused your first baby to die and 2nd baby to be very premature, as was my case. Work ethic is all very well and good until you have that kind of history and then you start to get your priorities straight. I imagine the OP's health and that of her baby figure much higher in her priorities than her job hmm.

Mutley77 Tue 07-May-13 05:48:44

I think pretty much every mum on here has their priority as their health and the health of their baby otherwise why would they be on here.

From my perspective my employer is not just a meal ticket and I see it as very important to fulfil my responsibilities of course alongside the need to protect my baby (which would always come first).

Personally on reading this post I became concerned about "asking a consultant for a sick note and if they say no asking a GP for one" when if it is necessary to be signed off sick there would be no question that a medical professional would write a note. If you want to rest or not work as a preventative measure either ask for your occupational health assessment, take mat leave or rest around your work commitments. People are far too quick to get signed off sick IMO - we are lucky in the UK with paid mat leave and if the sickness element is abused it is likely that this will have implications for future policy.

Strikeuptheband Tue 07-May-13 12:57:44

I don't think that it is unreasonable or seeing your employer as a "meal ticket" to follow your consultant's advice (as I did) and be signed off as a preventative measure, especially since continuing to work in the past has had dire consequences. The OP sounds like she has enough on her plate too and is quite understandably putting her baby's health and her own health first.

janey1234 Tue 07-May-13 13:11:49

Agreed strikeup. After 12 years long, hard service (with many, many hours put in above and beyond what I'm paid for) if I am signed off early, as a preventative measure due to high blood pressure and protein in my urine (so under consultant care for risk of pre-eclampsia, as I am) I am going to take it. I'm not going to start my ML early and have less time with my baby the other end. I have put in way way above and beyond the hours I have been paid for, over a very long time, and see it as a two-way street; when they needed me I was there, but now I might need something in return (paid sick leave) I expect it.

So OP - you do whatever is best for you, your baby, and your circumstances.

Mutley77 Wed 08-May-13 06:57:56

But we are not talking about following consultant's advice - the OP is trying to get her ML started early by finding a medical professional to write her a sick note - it is that I take issue with. If the Consultant thinks it necessary for medical reasons, i.e. that she would qualify for sickness leave, they would be recommending that and therefore write the letter.

And janey1234 you are ill, it is not preventative, you have high bp.

Strikeuptheband Wed 08-May-13 14:40:46

I can see your point a little Mutley, but the OP has really not even asked the consultant yet, so may not have even spoken about it?

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