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Ante-natal appt in a couple of hours. Need to be asked to be 'signed off' Anyone here done this?

(17 Posts)
McSnail Thu 18-Jun-09 12:56:36

I've put this on 'Chat' too, but thought I'd cut and paste it here as things seem quite slow today.

Kind of a sappy question I know, but hey.

Due to being made redundant at seven and a half months pregnant and with my employers trying to get out of paying me maternity pay, I'm hugely stressed. My contract ends on the 2nd July, but I really can't face working through til then - can't bear to be in the same room as my boss and am having anxiety even thinking about it. Have been off for almost a week (self-certified) with stress and breathing problems, as well as severe sleep deprivation (surprisingly, the thought of potential destitution doesn't make sleep come very easily)

Anyway - should I just come straight out and ask the doc for a certificate signing me off until the end of term? It's not my regular doc either, so I don't 'know' him.

LiegeAndLief Thu 18-Jun-09 13:19:32

I don't know about getting signed off, but re the maternity pay - as long as you were employed for the first 25 weeks of pregnancy you are entitled to SMP. May not be much help if your employer was going to pay you extra, but at least it's something!

I was made redundant a few weeks before I was due to go back to work after mat leave so you have my full sympathies. Must be even worse when you're still pregnant.

McSnail Thu 18-Jun-09 13:21:18

Well, I was initially informed that because my (usually renewed) contract ends before my maternity leave is due to start, I'm not entitled to anything. Am fighting it though.

LiegeAndLief Thu 18-Jun-09 13:32:08

I'm sure this isn't true (unless they have changed the rules very recently), I have worked with severa people who were made redundant during pregnancy and were specifically kept on for an extra couple of weeks to make 25 weeks so they could claim SMP. Maybe try ringing CAB?

Have just done a quick google and directgov says

Who is eligible for SMP?
To qualify for SMP you must have been:

employed by the same employer continuously for at least 26 weeks into the 15th week before the week your baby is due
earning an average of at least £95 a week
Please read ‘Statutory Maternity Pay – eligibility’ for more information.

ie you have to have been employed from conception to 25 weeks.

McSnail Thu 18-Jun-09 13:36:49

I've already talked with CAB - they told me I don't really have a leg to stand on and the most I could do is claim Unfair Dismissal on the grounds of discrimination.

piggybank Thu 18-Jun-09 14:00:12

I think you should definitely tell your doctor how you are feeling and how the anxiety is affecting you. Even though it is not your normal doctor I would be completely honest about the stress.

If the doctor doesn't suggest signing you off then you can suggest it. You and your baby have to come first!

Good luck McSnail. I hope things get better for you.

McSnail Thu 18-Jun-09 14:15:43

Thanks for that.

beautifulgirls Thu 18-Jun-09 16:22:29

Sorry to hear of your situation. If they usually renewed your contract they need to have a good reason not to have done so this time otherwise you definately have a discrimination case. If there are others on the same terms as you that have had theirs renewed but you have not, then they are definately treading on thin ice by not renewing yours when you are pregnant. I would try for a second opinion maybe with an employment lawyer (sorry I know often that costs money) to see if there is anything else you can do.
As for the doctor - yes be honest. Stress is a valid medical reason for being off work.

McSnail Thu 18-Jun-09 17:23:24

Thanks beautifulgirls. Well, doctor was v. sympathetic and issued me with requisite certificate.
As for the legal side of my situation, I'm trying to get things sorted out as I KNOW my contract wasn't renewed due to my pregnancy (I just can't prove it)
Am currently trying my damndest to negotiate maternity pay, at least.

Thanks for all your kind words and advice.

madmissy Thu 18-Jun-09 17:36:38

glad you saw the doctor i hope that the pay is sorted soon for you

PootleTheFlump Thu 18-Jun-09 17:46:06

I think these people help with this kind of discrimination, have seen them advertised in pregnancy magazines.

Hope you can get some rest x

McSnail Thu 18-Jun-09 18:39:10


Pootle have checked that out and have signed the petition. May post the petition address on this site.

NorthernLurker Thu 18-Jun-09 18:42:16

Well it's completely crap that they are trying not to pay you SMP etc. I really despair at how frequent pregnant women are discriminated against in the 21st century!

However - if you can't get SMP but have worked won't you be entitled to claim maternity allowance at least?

McSnail Thu 18-Jun-09 18:47:06

Northern - it's all quite complicated because I have two jobs with the same council. If you have a job and are getting some mat pay, you can't claim for Mat. Allowance. Sadly, the Mat. Pay from the job I still have isn't actually enough to live on - and I'm the bread-winner of the family.

NorthernLurker Thu 18-Jun-09 19:07:47

Oh right so it wasn't SMP the evil job should have been paying you then - just occupational maternity pay at their discretion or policy? Oh dear that does make things more complicated sad

Will you need to go back to work soon after baby arrives then? Is that a possibility - obviously not to Evil job but to the other job plus Lovely Nice contract that we'll hope will pop up?

funtimewincies Thu 18-Jun-09 19:19:35

SMP rules here

When I was pg with ds my contract finished at the end of the August and he was due in the November, so I got SMP because I was still employed 15 weeks before the baby was due. My employer (an LEA) tried to claim that as my contract finished before my due date I couldn't claim SMP until I pointed out the 15 week rule. They reckoned that they'd never heard of it hmm!

As the CAB say, there is also the question of whether your contract wasn't renewed because you were pg. Temp workers employed under contract (not agency) have the same rights as permanent employees. My contract finished as the lady I was covering maternity for was returning to work, so not an issue, but if you have been made redundant they are not allowed to employ someone else to do your job and you have to be given a reason for your redundancy (such as the post going).

Sounds very stressful sad.

funtimewincies Thu 18-Jun-09 19:54:46

Sorry, I've only just realised that you were talking about 'proper' maternity pay blush.

Try looking here, especially as the pg factsheets have useful phone numbers at the end.

Found this on a solicitor's website...

Redundancy Procedures

Your employer must follow a set dismissal procedure before making a redundancy.

If you are at risk of redundancy, you are entitled to a written statement, explaining why you are being considered for redundancy. You should also have a meeting with your employer to discuss the proposed redundancy, as well as the opportunity to appeal.

Your employer must use selection criteria that are fair, objective and non-discriminatory. You should also be considered for alternative employment within your employer's business.

If your employer does not follow the proper procedures, any dismissal will be an automatically unfair dismissal and you may be entitled to compensation.

As I understand it, the burden is on the employer to prove that their decision wasn't influenced by your pregnancy, rather than you to prove that it was. Definitely worth a chat with a solicitor.

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