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Starting a new job and pregnant.

(18 Posts)
AliceJennifer23 Wed 21-Oct-15 12:53:14

I got offered a job 2 months ago as a healthcare assistant, today i got my offer letter and spoke to the sister. I should be starting in two weeks and I'm seriously panicking. I got the contract and my probationary period is 6 months rather than the standard 3 months. I don't know how far I am in the pregnancy, either 7-8 weeks I think. I'm so exhausted all the time, I can't get any energy from food I just feel so weak and sick, the ward i'll be on is the busiest in the hospital, i'm worried i won't be able to cope with it and also worried about causing damage to my pregnancy as there will be heavy lifting constant walking/running and non stop moving/handling tasks to carry out for the 8 hour shifts. I'll be taking patients to Xray also, which is another concern. I'll also need to have injections before I start which i'll need to look into to see if they're safe during pregnancy etc.

I don't know how they will react to my pregnancy news when I do tell them, I imagine that if they really wanted to they could just get rid of me for any reason within the 6 months probationary period so I might not even get maternity allowance, which in all honesty is the only positive about getting this job now. And obviously a monthly wage to help us save for the babys arrival.

Sorry for the rant! i'm not sure what kind of response I want but just some friendly advice would be helpful, my partner is away and i'm having so many doubts about if i'm making the right choices for us. it's probably just hormones sad

Lemonfizzypop Wed 21-Oct-15 13:35:54

Is this an NHS job? Where were you working before?

AliceJennifer23 Wed 21-Oct-15 13:50:43

I was on a zero hour contract up until last week when i handed my notice in. and yeah it's an nhs job, i've worked for the nhs before but as a ward housekeeper on busy wards so i know what awaits for me. i was looking forward to the fast paced environment and the atmosphere before I knew I was pregnant.

AliceJennifer23 Wed 21-Oct-15 13:53:54

Also, I forgot to mention, it's a fixed term 1 year contract. the last person they had they didn't keep on after the year was up.

TeaandHobnobs Wed 21-Oct-15 14:08:17

If you have worked for at least 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before your due date, you can get maternity allowance - even if you are not working when you apply:
www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance/eligibility
Given the potential risks to you and your pregnancy from the job, I think you will have to be upfront with them.
Try not to panic smile do some reading and figure out where you stand.

CityMole Wed 21-Oct-15 14:59:27

I can understand exactly why you're worrying- different workplaces have very different attitudes to pregnancy/ people taking time off, regardless of how long you have worked there!

I agree that you should be upfront for the sake of your health and that of your unborn child.

Also, I would be very surprised if they just let you go within your probation period unless they had EXTREMELY robust reasons to do so which are entirely unlinked to your pregnancy. For example, if you are too tired to do the job to your full capacity because of pregnancy, or off sick lots with a pregnancy related issue, this is NOT a valid reason for them to get rid of you. If the role proves to be unsuitable for you, they should offer you suitable alternative work on the same Ts and Cs as the other job.

Pregnancy is a protected characteristic in the anti-discrimination legislation (Equality Act), regardless of how long you have been there- it is actually effective from day 1, or the day you let them know about your pregnancy- whichever date is later.

Lemonfizzypop Wed 21-Oct-15 15:12:05

I think of all the places to start a job whilst pregnant the NHS is a good one! Definitely tell them as soon as possible so your role can be risk assessed, whilst starting a job while pregnant isn't ideal they will be very used to pregnant staff in general and will look after you I'm sure, try not to worry.

You won't be entitled to NHS occupational mat pay but like a previous poster said you'll be entitled to maternity allowance if you have worked enough over the last 26 weeks, I had to apply for this myself as I'd not been in my NHS role long enough to claim smp and it's easy peasy and basically the same amount.

hannahbanananana Wed 21-Oct-15 15:53:13

I recently started a new job in the NHS whilst pregnant.. I was 14 weeks when I started, but wasn't pregnant when I was offered the job. I was so nervous about telling them but they were great. I've also had a bit of a rubbish pregnancy, I had a bit of time off in the beginning with hyperemesis and I'm now signed off with high blood pressure, but they have been wonderful about it. These things happen, I'm sure they'll be happy for you smile

hannahbanananana Wed 21-Oct-15 15:57:32

Oh and I too have a 6 month probationary period. My boss said that even if he knew I was pregnant at interview, he wouldn't have been able to not offer it me.

Jeffreythegiraffe Wed 21-Oct-15 16:28:40

You'll be risk assessed, you can't go to x ray.

madsaz76 Thu 22-Oct-15 14:44:25

You couldn't be punished for pregnancy related stuff & you really do need to tell them for a risk assessment. However theres no reason you can't take someone to xray - its not like we routinely irradiate the staff. You just have to make sure you are away from the xray

AliceJennifer23 Thu 22-Oct-15 15:04:24

Haha no I'm sure you don't madsaz, it's just one of the many things which I wasn't 100% sure if it was safe or not. Thanks all for your comments, I feel so much better knowing starting new jobs whilst pregnant seems to be way more common than I thought.

I think given the fact the sister has been getting more and more frustrated for the delay in me starting it might be a bit of a nuisance for her but I'm sure she'll be supportive and helpful. Shall I mention it on the health at work form I need to fill out before I start, or wait till the first day? It just seems so forward to tell someone I don't know when it's a really personal thing.

littleducks Thu 22-Oct-15 15:08:02

You shoukd have an appointment with occupational health booked as it's a patient facing role. Tell them then (they can then answer questions about jabs etc too) or give them a call now.

skyofdiamonds Thu 22-Oct-15 15:26:54

You can take pt's to xray. You are required as a patient's escort, you are not being xrayed yourself.

You aren't exposed to radiation by walking into a radiology department. There are lead screens within the room to stand behind. Not to mention lead lined doors, barium plastered walls etc.

How do you think radiographers work whilst pregnant?! Because I can tell you they carry on with plain film imaging as normal.

AliceJennifer23 Thu 22-Oct-15 16:17:49

Thanks for telling me sky, I'm completely new to this pregnancy game and have no idea about the do's and don'ts of it, it probably seems ridiculous to be concerned about X-rays, injections etc. I'm still learning lol.

I have my first shifts next week, three 12 hour shifts... Already exhausted just thinking about it. Once I get to occy health I'm going to 'come clean' so to speak and just let them tell me where to go from there.

xx

skyofdiamonds Sat 24-Oct-15 15:27:31

Good Luck! Try and enjoy it smile

HJBeans Sat 24-Oct-15 17:58:16

I'm starting a new job next week, too, at 22 weeks. I didn't mention the pregnancy at interview and was nervous about telling then when they offered me the job. But after an initial 'oh!' my boss-to-be spoke to HR and became extremely supportive. While relationships among staff may vary, there are very strict protocols about what employers are allowed to do without breaching anti-discrimination law, and big, public-facing institutions have to take them seriously. Conversations went better for me when I remembered that I had nothing to be apologetic for.

ICantThinkOfAUsernameH Sun 25-Oct-15 20:48:29

I'm in exactly the same position! I was offered an NHS job on a psychiatric ward back in June.
Had a phone call the other day and told them I was pregnant (said I was 8 weeks - but I'm 11 blush) but they were fine about it!
Said I'd be placed in another department but no reason why I couldn't come back after baby and not to worry about it.

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