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Disciplinary at work.. Can they do this?

(34 Posts)
Tryagain92 Thu 24-Mar-16 07:08:58

Hi all. Okay a bit complicated but I really do need help! I am 9 weeks and a bit pregnant today and I found out I was pregnant about 5 weeks. Anyway, during that time I was doing rather heavy lifting and pulling at work because work put me in the laundry and not as a cleaner which is what I am supposed to do. At 8 weeks I had to tell the supervisor I was pregnant as it was getting too much for me and it is VERY busy in there I don't even have time to sit down or eat lunch. I am in there for 8 hours. Anyway I told her and she said I will have to stick it out for a bit as there is nobody else to go in the laundry so I will have to be careful, which is ridiculous because what if I was ill? (coming to that)

Ok so I was in the laundry last weekend and it was extremely heavy work and it was so difficult. Later that evening I started to bleed and I went to a&e who advised me not do any heavy lifting or pulling as it could make the bleeding worse, they termed it a "threatened miscarriage". Now you can see I was extremely scared! I have been anxious and depressed since that night because this is my fourth pregnancy and no live children.

I thought enough is enough. She put me in the laundry tomorrow, weekend and two days next week when I told her not to and I just cannot do it. Nobody else is able to go in there because they haven't been shown how to but I am putting myself and my baby first now! I was asleep and my partner called the supervisor the next day and told them the situation and said I am not coming to work for a few days until it settles down or further notice and I filled out a self-certificate sick note.

Yesterday (this was when my partner called the day before) I got a call about an hour after my start time and a care worker said why am I not in the laundry, I said the situation has been explained to the supervisor and I won't be in there. She said there's nobody trained to get up and get in there and I will have to go in as they have no clothes or bedsheets, I said sorry but it really isn't my problem. I called the supervisor but she was not in so I rang the receptionist and told her to pass on the message to the other people that I won't be in work. They had plenty of time to get this sorted out when my partner called! Apparently my colleague whose a friend said nobody did go in the laundry and it got completely backlogged.

A couple of days later I got a letter saying I got a disciplinary meeting with the boss on whatever date they put and I am well and truly shocked. It is about my conduct and something I have not done which I assume is my job, right?

What on Earth is happening? Yes I did call in sick but I do have an issue going on here and I am really angry. I really need advice! Am i in the wrong here? :/

FellOutOfBedTwice Thu 24-Mar-16 07:15:31

No, you're definitely not wrong. They can't discipline you for sick leave anyway I don't think, but especially not when you're pregnant and especially not with your history. Go emergency to your GP today and get signed off for two weeks- get it backdated from when you were in hospital. The doctor will definitely write that certificate when you tell them about the threatened miscarriage. Then write back to the disciplinary letter stating your reasons for not being in, what you did to inform them and with the certificate (take a copy for your records).

They're chancing it- bastards.

Ifailed Thu 24-Mar-16 07:18:47

if your job description is for a cleaner and not laundry worker, then you could claim for constructive dismissal. threaten them with an employment tribunal.

Ameliablue Thu 24-Mar-16 07:22:24

Get an appointment with your GP to get a letter that you are not fit to do the work. Are you in a union? If not you could speak to citizens advice.

StealthPolarBear Thu 24-Mar-16 07:23:08

I agree the op should be fine work-wise and I really hope all is fine with the pregnany too op. Has the bleeding stopped?
However on a separate issue " . They can't discipline you for sick leave anyway"
People can be disciplined and sacked for genuine sickness if it means they can't do the job they're paid to do!

Jugglingballs65 Thu 24-Mar-16 07:23:19

No you are not wrong.
Your employer has a duty of care to you as an employee under the health and safety at work act.
they also have a duty to do a risk assessment re your duties when pregnant.
Also if you identify something potentially harmful to you at work you have a duty to report it and yhr right to refuse to do it. Your employer insisting on you doing it because there is no one else is on a sticky wicket,

SpaghettiMeatballs Thu 24-Mar-16 07:24:54

This is what the HSE says about expectant mothers. Not sure if it helps?

It isn't a legal requirement to do a specific risk assessment for each expectant mother you employ but I really can't understand why a responsible employee wouldn't do this. Can you request a risk assessment?

Lanark2 Thu 24-Mar-16 07:25:59

Damn, I wish I was going in with you. This is COMPLETELY a supervisor fuck up...COMPLETELY!!!

No succession, nobody else trained, warnings that the work was unsuitable for you, not your job description, etc etc etc etc.

I would treat this as an opportunity to demonstrate your supervisors poor supervision, and just list that and go quiet in factvACT AS THOUGH YOU ARE DISCIOLINING YOUR SUPERVISOR..

I suspect there are serious legal breaches in terms of health and safety here. It is your DUTY UNDER THE LAW to protect your iwn health.and IT IS ALSO THE COMPANYS DUTY.

First ask for all the info they are relying on in the disciplinary. Speak to CAB and ACAS as soon as you can

To give you an example (nothing like comparable in terms of fuck up), a supervisor was trying to dump a tasks on me. I had said verbally, and by email I couldn't do it, proposed alternative solutions, arranged back up, predicted demands to organise with other people etc etc and the guy still tried to blame me for 'not following a reasonable direction from management' ie gross misconduct.

I listed all the communications one after the other and he visibly deflated at the meeting.

The absolute FUCKERS... Take them down.

AStreetcarNamedBob Thu 24-Mar-16 07:26:58

What felloutofbedsaid

Lanark2 Thu 24-Mar-16 07:29:40

Also..the laundry dies because of one person??? They are dicks. Serves them right. I hope you have been there for a while.

VimFuego101 Thu 24-Mar-16 07:33:15

Just to make sure you have all bases covered, I would:

1) get an official note from your doctor saying you should not be working in the laundry or lifting heavy objects. I would ask for a note confirming the threatened miscarriage as proof of why you are off too.
2) inform them in writing of your pregnancy and request a health and safety assessment to make sure your working environment is safe for you during pregnancy. It would also be good to note down the fact that you are entitled to breaks on an 8 hour shift and ask that you get them.
3) write a timeline of the dates, times, and everything that's happened so you can refer to it during the meeting. As Lanark said above, make sure you note down that you notified people in good time that you were unable to do the laundry work.

Lanark2 Thu 24-Mar-16 07:36:27

Agree with talking to gp and getting sign off. Tell them about this odd campaign to bollock you for their fuck up too as this is too stressful on top.

Is it a care home or something? Hope it's part of a big company.

Don't go in to a meeting with just supervisor (unless/you record it to prove they aren't following procedure)

BY THE WAY . they shouldn't contact you and pressure you for meetings when you are off sick. Not fit is not fit. Dickheads

GP should maybe mention stress as this makes hassling you when off risky for them as it predictably increases stress.
I am angry

Tryagain92 Thu 24-Mar-16 07:38:01

Thank you all for your replies so far. You're telling me! Honestly I just cannot believe it. FellOutOfBedTwice and AmeliaBlue I asked for a two week sick note from the GP but he said I need to fill out a self certified sick note first for seven days before they issue a sick note so I did just that. Still causing a havoc! I am thinking of ringing up CAB for advice as I am not with a trade union. StealthPolarBear I am spotting at the moment, had a scan and all was well but the spotting continues. I use a fetal doppler to check heartbeat if I am worried but I worry every day something bad is going to happen sad JugglingBalls and SpaghettiMeatballs they said they will not do a risk assessment until I am 12 weeks which IMO is ridiculous and another way of trying to get me to work in that horrible laundry in the meantime which I am not having. At all! Really so fed up of it. Lanark2 trust me I intend to I am not letting them bully me for something I haven't done, they are really like that! Don't care about anybody will just punish you if you don't do what they say! I would love it if you came with me! We can bring them down together! I will be discussing this with CAB or if I cannot get an appt, it will be with ACAS.

Tryagain92 Thu 24-Mar-16 07:39:05

Lanark2 yes it is a care home, big company and a fucking shit one too!

Lanark2 Thu 24-Mar-16 07:41:43

ACAS phone line is good by the way 0300 123 1100 open in 19 mins.

Tryagain92 Thu 24-Mar-16 07:45:28

Lanark2 I am hard of hearing so I may struggle a bit sad do they have an online chat service? I was going to email them

Lanark2 Thu 24-Mar-16 07:46:12

Good. There's press attention available, and a company with highly paid directors. You have a nice strong hand to play, and they know it. Maybe not the dickhead supervisor, but the company will be aware of it gets too hot to handle (like the laundry wink) how long have you been there?

Lanark2 Thu 24-Mar-16 07:46:38

Yes they do have online I think.

Woodenmouse Thu 24-Mar-16 07:49:03

You aren't wrong. Ring acas they can advise you.

Lanark2 Thu 24-Mar-16 07:50:01

They have a text relay service..

Jessbow Thu 24-Mar-16 07:51:08

Explain to your GP ( who must know your history) that the work is too heavy for you and that the company wont do a risk assesment until you are 12 weeks, in which case, as you feel its too heavy, you need to stay off until then.

What is their reason for not doing it until you are 12 weeks? Surely its their job t risk assess everything and everybody day by day, if only informally.

Persipan Thu 24-Mar-16 07:53:06

One thing they might pick you up on is whether you followed the right procedure for advising them you'd be off sick - they may say that you're supposed to call in yourself, and your partner calling doesn't count. (Please note that I think they're wankers and am not at all agreeing with them - I just though it was worth mentioning so you can prepare for the question if it comes up.)

Jessbow Thu 24-Mar-16 07:53:07

There is also the care quality commission too.
They assess the home, the residents And the staff.

They wouldn't be happy

Sunshine87 Thu 24-Mar-16 07:58:26

We had plenty of staff cover the Laundry when we been short they just been shown how to use the machines. They should of completed a risk assessment when you informed them of your pregnancy. I work in a care home and unfortunately my manager failed to carry mine out. Stand your ground. Are you in the union OP?

GeorgeTheThird Thu 24-Mar-16 08:00:47

You need the citizens advice website -

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