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Work help! Could they fire me?

(4 Posts)
TheTartOfAsgard Mon 21-Nov-16 10:08:21

Background - I'm 12 weeks pregnant with 3rd baby, older dc are 12 and 13.

Started a new ft job 3 weeks before I found out I was pregnant - was not ttc, contraception failure but decided to go ahead with the pregnancy.

I'm really struggling at work.

It's a very manual job and I have been signed off this week due to hip and lower back pain, with a recommendation from the DR that I will be fit for work if hours and duties are altered (currently 10-12 hour shifts on feet all day) and no lifting. Also wrote that constantly standing will exasperate the pain. I've been referred for physiotherapy which starts on Thursday.
My boss knows about the pregnancy, has done a risk assessment, and had initially agreed 3 weeks ago to reduce my job to part time, but hasn't actually implemented this into the Rota yet. Im due to go back on Friday and I'm down to work 8 days straight as we get alternate weekends off and the following one is mine, so working Friday through to the next Friday, a total of 91 hours with some days finishing at 11pm and starting at 7am the next day.

I know I can't do this job anymore but I can't just quit. I doubt I'll find another job being pregnant, and dp, who I don't live with, doesn't earn enough to finance two households. I've always worked since 16 other than mat leave with older dc.

Any advice on what I can do? Can they fire me? I don't know what to do for the best - I understand from a business point of view that I'm putting everyone else under extra pressure by not being there and I feel so guilty about this.

Im really good at my job and have been told by other managers and staff that I am an asset, but I'm still on probation until the middle of December, so can they just fire me for being off sick? I'm just so stressed out with it all.

TheresAlwaysTimeForTea Mon 21-Nov-16 10:14:40

Hi OP - They can't fire you for any reason connected to pregnancy or maternity leave. You are protected from that from day 1 so it is irrelevant that you are still on probation. They should make temporary adjustments for you while pregnant if it is not safe for you to perform the role. What is it that you do? I would say - just be careful they don't find another reason that you haven't passed probation (unconnected to pregnancy) as this is a common tactic. Make sure you have all of your sickness absence classified as pregnancy related as well so it can't be used against you. (I'm an employment lawyer - let me know if you have any Q's)

TheTartOfAsgard Mon 21-Nov-16 10:34:49

Thank you.

It's retail work so there's not really anything else I can do there in terms of adjusting my duties.
I'm going to go on maternity leave as soon as I'm able which will be the 22nd march.
One question I did have - our holiday runs 1st Jan til 31st December and it isn't allowed to be carried over. Could I legally take all my holiday in the 5 weeks leading up to mat leave, meaning I'd finish at 24 weeks?

TheresAlwaysTimeForTea Mon 21-Nov-16 13:05:53

Yes if it's a use it or lose it policy (i.e. no carry over) then yes, request to take your holidays in a block before you start maternity. If they say their too busy then ask to be paid in lieu (they can't just block you from having hols). Another one to be aware of is if you are off sick for a pregnancy related reason in the month before the baby is due they can start your mat leave early.

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