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Working when pregnant - AIBU?

(9 Posts)
goldleaf123 Sun 14-Aug-16 18:32:03

Hello - 1st time poster here

I'm currently 11 weeks pregnant with my first baby. I had terrible morning sickness for around 6 weeks so decided to tell my employers quite early on in my pregnancy as my work has me working late and long hours as well as being on my feet all day with minimal (borderline illegal) breaks (for example 5 minute break when working 7+ hours on my feet, for two shifts a day, usually 8-3 then 6-2am - a 5 min break for each shift). I was hoping not for compassion, but an understanding that I am pregnant so breaks would help me as well as being able to eat regularly to keep my nausea at bay. When I told my manager about my pregnancy, her repose was quite matter of fact saying 'the best thing to do would be to carry on as normal'

We're at a busy time at work, I'm up and down stairs all day and it is very busy and stressful. Last night a manager shouted in my face for another staff members wrong doing - I lost it and shouted back - and went to sit in the staff room for 5 minutes to cool down as I was angry and hyperventilating. A different manager comes up, asks if I'm ok and in the same breath tells me to come back downstairs as there's not enough staff.

I'm not exaggerating at these working conditions, I would love to quit and work somewhere easier but worried about doing that when pregnant and plus I work in a employment black spot and earn a ok salary. (For where I live!)

What should I do? What is the law in regards to this, is there any boundaries I can legally ask my work to give me?

Whatsername17 Sun 14-Aug-16 18:33:35

Are you a member of a union?

NapQueen Sun 14-Aug-16 18:35:46

Do you regularly work 8am-3pm then back 6pm-2am?

Could you drop one of the shifts or work one shift a day but more days?

goldleaf123 Sun 14-Aug-16 18:44:45

No not a member of a union.

Every day is a different shift pattern. For example I might do 2 days at 8am-3pm, then back for 6pm-2am, two days at 8am-6pm and one day at 3pm-11pm

I'm contracted for 45 hours a week but often do 50+ (this week I just worked 11 days in a row wirhout a day off with 60 hours in a week)

goldleaf123 Sun 14-Aug-16 18:50:57

The shifts are different each week and we're just expected to do what were given - there's little leeway to shorten my shifts as it would just mean working on my day offs instead

Whatsername17 Sun 14-Aug-16 18:54:00

Maybe check out the citizens advice - there must be a law for breaks and pregnancy allowances?

BikeRunSki Sun 14-Aug-16 18:57:44

Have your workplace fine a pregnancy risk assessment for you? It may be that regular shifts would help you manage your fatigue. It is in there interests to do this, because if you become too sick/tired to work and go on sick leave, this can not be used against you.

goldleaf123 Sun 14-Aug-16 19:02:18

My pregnancy has hardly been mentioned at all by management. I doubt they even know they need to do a risk assessment. I told them of my maternity appointments two weeks ago and still haven't had a reply to say I can have time off for them.

I'm not asking for preferential treatment just to be allowed lawful breaks and a safe working environment. I'm worried the stress, long hours and exhaustion will make problems for the baby.

nataliefruit Sun 14-Aug-16 23:00:07

Check out the European working time directive (EWTD) - I'm pretty sure that legally everyone should have a 20 minute break after 4 hours of work and you should only work 48 hours a week maximum averaged across 26 weeks so a 50 hour week regularly is illegal. Plus I seem to remember there being something about a minimum number of hours' rest between shifts. If your employer isn't abiding by this legislation then the health & safety executive can fine them very heavily.

Also, you are legally entitled to paid maternity appointments (this is on www.gov.uk if they want to try & argue). They do need to do a risk assessment to make sure your work isn't putting you or your baby at risk (also on gov.uk) - don't let them bully you or make you feel like you're asking for preferential treatment because you're not.

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