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Any experience of an inpatient employer towards pregnancy?

(17 Posts)
SayHelloDoris Fri 19-May-17 11:04:23

I got a call from head of management yesterday, I've never seen her before but she's above all our line managers etc.

I've had two weeks away from work due to horrendous HG sickness. She said ''so what is it that's exactly wrong with you?'' confused

I replied that I have pregnancy related HG sickness, and it was very debilitating at present. She then went on to ask if I was certain I would be in Monday, as they needed to know. I replied yes I would be but would be needing a bucket to puke into
She then went on to say "Can you make sure all your appointments are made during the morning or last thing, so as to not disrupt the working day too much''.

I replied this wasn't really in my control since I'd asked for first thing/last thing appointments each time and I'd only ever been offered the choice between two availabilities, none of which so far have ever been convenient, more afternoonish time.

She replied ''Well, you need to tell them you work for the NHS, if you said that they'd grasp how busy we are''. Again, I said I tried this but it hasn't worked.

Then, in a very fed up voice she said ''What hospital is it you're with?'' I said the hospital name. She said ''Why that hospital? It's a bit far isn't it? Not really local at all'' (She knows my address so she knows it isn't local to work or home).

I was really put on the spot to answer. I've had horrendous experiences with maternity care and I have had lost babies due to poor care, so I chose this one as I feel safe and cared for. I didn't tell her this, I lied and said we were moving to the area so I based my mat care there blush I know I shouldn't have lied but is it really her business?

We had a new line manager start a few weeks back who has taken over handling sickness, holiday etc etc. I told new manager about pregnancy quite early on due to needing time away for quite a few appointments earlier on too. Turns out she didn't even document the sickness as pregnant related, even though it's clearly stated on medical evidence and letters etc that I've shown and given copies of.

Am I in the wrong? Am I breaking the maternity law because my expectations aren't reasonable, and should they expect a closer hospital?

Thank you for any input flowers

MaverickSnoopy Fri 19-May-17 11:21:04

You'd be better off posting under employment issues.

It's hard to read tone over the Internet but from what you have said my initial thought is that she is an absolute arse.

She will have to learn that while you will do your very best not to let pregnancy interrupt your work, pregnancy is unpredictable and as such there are no guarantees.

If you have HG and are suddenly unable to be at work on Monday then she will have to suck it up. Yours and your babies wellbeing comes first. I am sure you will catch up when you can. You need to learn some stock phrases. "I will do my best", "I have every intention of being there but I won't know how I feel in advance of the day".

I understand that it's personal to you and is entirely my choice but I would be explaining to my manager that I was being closely monitored (and that this will require extra appointments) & why. If you can explain this in advance as humans they should at least understand why. Not that you should have to explain.

I would also be keeping my own records and putting everything in writing!

SayHelloDoris Fri 19-May-17 11:24:55

Hi Maverick, thank you, I will post there too.

I have explained my pregnancy is high risk and requires more scrutiny from health professionals, I explained this when I was only 8 weeks as I wanted to give them a heads up.

She's being arsey, I have a return to work interview Monday and hope it goes okay!

Sanchezwasntdirty Fri 19-May-17 11:41:50

Doris take a look at the maternity policy for your trust also make sure that your sickness is changed to be put in a pregnancy related rather than just general sickness so it won't go against your sickness records. Is the maternity unit part of the same trust you work for? As you may be able to request appointments that are going to be in work time can be attended there instead.

You would think, working for the NHS, your manager would be sympathetic to the pressures and limited appointment times. It sounds like she's being at bitch.

You don't have to justify to her why you have chosen the hospital you have for your appointments but I would make it clear that due to previous complications you need closer monitoring.

Ginlinessisnexttogodliness Sat 20-May-17 08:02:24

Are you in a Union?
Who is your actual Line Manager I terms of PDR's, Leave, sickness absence etc.?

I used to with for the NHS and my managers treatment of me during my first pregnancy was appalling. This woman is appalling.
Sickness during pregnancy is not legally recorded in the same way as other absence and to do otherwise is discrimination. Your choice of hospital has jack shit to do with her, and she sounds as though she is a bully.
Read your HR maternity and discrimination / grievance policies as a start and if things get worse, take things from there using the policies as a framework. What she is doing is not only unkind and stressful for you in your current condition but bordering on illegal work practice.

ashaj92 Sat 20-May-17 22:02:14

Sorry but I had to reply to this thread as it made my blood literally boil!!
I work full time for the NHS on a busy ward as a HCA so I understand the busy workplace vibe, I am also currently 16 weeks pregnant. I too have had multiple problems early on in pregnancy, (it's my first so have struggled a bit if I'm honest) but at the end of the day your managers have a duty of care to you as a pregnant woman. I too have had to call in sick on ocassion and needed time away for appointments, although I've been told it's generally 'your managers discretion', and I agree with previous posts you do need to check your trust's policies to be on the safe side, but your manager is so out of line it is none of her business about your choice of hospital or any of the other personal details she dug at you for. If possible I'd be taking that higher or speaking to HR and/or a trusted line manager about your concerns. This is surely a case of bullying or harassment, clearly she has no idea about being compassionate towards her staff.
Best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy and I hope it all gets sorted for you flowers xx

SayHelloDoris Sat 20-May-17 22:19:00

ashaj92 Thank you my lovely, very kind of you.

I may have read wrong but maternity laws aren't under a managers discretion etc, it's compulsory. She couldn't refuse an appointment mace my my hospital but that doesn't stop her pissyness and I would be be surprised if she didn't try and discourage me!

She really is rude.

user1487941567 Sat 20-May-17 23:11:01

I had this during my first pregnancy when I was actually very ill with preeclampsia but didn't know. I was told stuff like "you are pregnant, not dying" and "take the stairs, not the lift, don't be so lazy" when my SPD was really bad. I missed physio apps as they wanted me to stay till 8 to make up the time. I worked for a much beloved UK medical charity at the time. I wish I had taken my maternity leave from 6 months now, looking back. Or been signed off.

mimiholls Sun 21-May-17 06:45:18

Sickness must be counted as pregnancy related and therefore cannot be used against you in any way. I would ask to see your HR absence record to check they have done so. Is there not something you have to sign for absence? Make sure they are recording it correctly before doing so.

You have right to time off for all your appointments and they cannot request that you make up the time by working late etc. They can request that appointments are as convenient as possible so as not to take too much time out of working day- within reason. Can you book in all your routine midwife/gp appointments now so that you're well ahead and may be offer the best selection of times?

It's shitty. My employers were also bastards and tried to suggest I take all my appointments as sick leave. It really makes me livid there are still employers with this kind of attitude.

10storeylovesong Sun 21-May-17 07:47:28

Just re the time for apts, my work policy is 4 hours for apts. I'm high risk this pregnancy and have scans every 4 weeks which I then have to wait to see the consultant afterwards. My hospital is an hour from work. Although the apts are morning (10.40) my work day is 7-5. Realistically I won't get to work before 1-2 on those days so will have to work until 7-8 to make up my hours (minus the 4 hours for apts).

Hollyhop17 Sun 21-May-17 08:01:35

This thread has made me so mad on your behalf OP. In no way do you need to justify or explain the hospital you have chosen. It is none of your employers business. The law says you are allowed paid time off for pregnancy related appointments, NOT only if the hospital is conveniently located.

If possible I would try and speak to someone above her to nip this behaviour in the bud. You have a long way to go and dont need the extra stress of dealing with her attitude. Best of luck.

Ginlinessisnexttogodliness Sun 21-May-17 11:45:30

@ashaj92 time off for antenatal appointments and care is not something that is at the manager's or employer's dissection, it's the Law.
@SayHelloDoris this is not something you should have to endure. Just go about your pregnancy related appointments as normal, i.e. giving as much notice as you can for scans, doctor appointments, etc. If you are off sick this cannot be recorded in the same way as other absence from work it is discrimination and the stuff unions love and employment tribunals are full off.
Here's some useful pics, if not in a Union then do get further advice from NR or speak to acas etc.

Don't let a nasty buffoon spoil this time for you, are her incompetence and unkindness your joint employer's problem

Ginlinessisnexttogodliness Sun 21-May-17 11:45:51

Discretion not dissection 🙈

LookImAHooman Sun 21-May-17 12:41:50

10storey - while four hours sounds / is typically generous, it clearly doesn't work as a one-size-fits-all policy. You're entitled to reasonable paid time off for antenatal care recommended by a midwife or doctor and if that doesn't fit with a preexisiting policy, tough shit for them. Courtesy is trying to get appts at the start or end of the day but if you can't, you can't. They legally cannot get you to make up the hours and that is pregnancy/sex discrimination.

mimiholls Sun 21-May-17 13:01:21

Agree with Look. They cannot make you make up the time for antenatal appointments regardless of travel time etc. They may have a 4 hour policy for ordinary medical appointments but time off for antenatal appointments is governed by the law not by an employers own policy.

10storeylovesong Sun 21-May-17 17:10:49

They possibly can't make me make it up, but there's good will either side. I can't enforce the 4 hour rule with my staff and then take longer myself. I don't mind making the time up as they're flexible in other ways.

HannahD1991 Sun 21-May-17 17:40:17

@SayHelloDoris this is shocking behaviour from your employer! I work for the Home Office and I had somebody email me the sickness policy on pregnancy whilst I've been off. The policy states that under no circumstances should any woman off work with pregnancy related sickness be issued with any disciplinary action and all appointments as long as documented should be honoured. I would imagine working for the NHS it should be similar. I think that it sounds like your manager who called you is under stress with work and is not familiar with the pregnancy related policy - however this is not your problem. If I were you, I'd ask her to put all her concerns/questions in an email - that way it's documented. If she carries on, you can take it to a union or more senior manager. At the end of the day, you're off sick with pregnancy related illness and you should not be given any added stress from your employer or rushed back into work. Don't don't be pressured back to work if you are unable to carry out your work or if you feel it will make your worse. It's realllly not worth it.

Hope all goes well. Sorry for the rant! My good friend had a similar issue not too long ago and it all boiled down to a not so approachable manager! Good luck with everything, hope your sickness eases! flowersflowers x

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