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Unreasonable working conditions, 31+3

(14 Posts)
kateliz26 Sun 28-May-17 10:29:50

Hi ladies! Just after a bit of advice. I'm one of the managers of a branded, busy restaurant and 31 weeks pregnant. We're in a shopping centre and like most we're currently experience a heat wave! Unfortunately the air con system in my work is broken and has been since April. The ops manager and maintenance manager are aware of it. Friday the temperature reached 28 degrees in work, I had to send another pregnant girl home as she was visibly not coping well in the heat but paid her for the rest of her shift as it's not her fault. An hour later I was throwing up in the ladies, faint and shivering. Had to go home because I couldn't manage. Yesterday my fellow preggo workmate collapsed in the kitchen crying with the heat (ive asked for her to be paid for the entirety of her shift) and I'm due back in today on a 12-8. I really can't face another day like we've had. I'm not massively confident but feel like it's within my rights to tell them to sod off until the working conditions are improved? Has anyone else had a similar experience? How would you deal with it? I'm confident in sticking up for the hourly paid member of staff but lose my nerve when it comes to myself!! Thanks!

mysecret321 Sun 28-May-17 11:10:34

You you sound like a great manager wish there were more people like you x sorry haven't got any advice I was just impressed by your actions!

kateliz26 Sun 28-May-17 11:18:02

I just think you get a lot more protection on a salary than hourly and the poor girl is suffering! We both are angry

Alexandra07 Sun 28-May-17 13:29:26

In terms of what the law says, there is no maximum temperature above which people shouldn't be allowed to work...
I think that what you did was great and I wish every manager was like you! However, be careful not to get in troubles for your generosity and understanding. Could you ask for one or more fans or the repair of the air condition? I hope the issue is sorted out quickly!

These are some pages with info regarding the legislation:
www.gov.uk/workplace-temperatures
www.hse.gov.uk/temperature/faq.htm

kateliz26 Sun 28-May-17 14:15:12

I feel like I can't get in trouble because maternity is such a mine field, I feel like the argument is there that she shouldn't lose pay because she has unsuitable working conditions. We've been asking for it fixed since April, apparently they've rushed our job but that was Friday and still no sign. There should one hundred percent be an upper limit for the preggo contingency!

Vroomster Sun 28-May-17 16:36:15

There is no upper limit. I'm a nurse and we have no air con at the hospital I work at. We just have to swelter and get on with it.

10storeylovesong Sun 28-May-17 20:02:34

I've asked the upper limit question before and there isn't one. We have no air con and at the minute I'm working 12 hour days with no rest days (police officer in GMP). I'll have worked nearly 100 hours in a week by Friday. I'm 22 weeks into a high risk pregnancy and am still expected to just get on with it. I'm told to keep my fluids up though regularly by the bosses so they can be seen to be doing something.

Herewegogo Sun 28-May-17 20:08:31

I was in the same job and situation as you, I took my holidays and started maternity early, leaving at 33 weeks.

Does your GM or Ops Director do your risk assessment? I would ask for it to be amended to say that you need rest during your shifts given the current situation. Presumably you are the second manager on if you're on a swing shift so you won't be leaving the restaurant totally unattended.

I know it's hard, and it's particularly shit because despite being visibly pregnant I found guests still didn't give much of a fuck when I was dealing with complaints. Perks of the job eh!

sadmum2017 Sun 28-May-17 20:12:40

There are laws about the minimum temperature people should work in, but no maximum. It's ridiculous, and I only know this as I work in a hospital and regularly feel the effects of the high temperature (dizziness, dehydration and poor concentration) and did dig a little to find out what our rights were. Aside from the physical and health issues, it's a bloody miserable way to feel at work and I think it deeply affects morale too. Sorry, not helpful sad

lougle Sun 28-May-17 20:21:26

Have you had a health and safety risk assessment that was due by law to be carried out because you are pregnant? You do have options. You could go to your GP and get a fit note that restricts your duties. That may well mean that you will need to be given an alternative role until you are on maternity leave, or suspended on full pay if no suitable alternative is possible. Or, you could go to the GP and get signed off until maternity leave - this would trigger maternity leave automatically at 36 weeks, though.

You don't have to just keep going to work in unsuitable conditions.

kateliz26 Sun 28-May-17 22:07:52

I have literally don't the same as you, I'm leaving at 33 weeks because I can't undertake light duties and my job role can't be changed. My favourite complaints have been people complaining about the heat in the restaurant. Im the AGM so spoke to the other managers today and just said, if I don't feel comfortable I'm not staying which they agreed to. I think they're hoping if it's a fuss the air con will get fixed quicker and everyone will be happier!

Herewegogo Sun 28-May-17 22:36:53

Yeah restaurant management isn't ideal when trying to relax in the last few weeks of pregnancy, especially not during half term. I was quite lucky that I did mostly AMs towards the end and my GM was happy for me to do health and safety paperwork and random communications crap, but I ended up working in the kitchen a lot too as we were short. As long as the rest of your team are aware that you'll need to sit down now and again you should be ok hopefully! Hope it all works out.

ginswinger Sun 28-May-17 22:49:24

Could you not go to Argos and buy some portable air con units?

Mummyme87 Mon 29-May-17 06:58:23

Midwife here, pregnant along with other colleagues. Often over 30 degrees. We have temporary air con units in our rooms for women, although they often break but nothing in corridor, midwife offices/station, staff room. It's awful but there is no other option but to suck it up. There is no upper limit for temp

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