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Feeling so sad :(

24 replies

BabiesEverywhere · 04/03/2006 11:26

To date I have been very relaxed and happy and everyone has noticed it but I am feeling down about the attitude of my line manager and director towards my pregnancy (BTW they are both women in their 40's/50's and have no children of their own.)
The director has not mentioned anything about my pregnancy yet, she treats it like a business problem. She only talks to me about work issues.
My line manager attitude is how much trouble my pregnancy will cause her and I have been told that she refused to put money into the collection for me at work, when the other nice ladies bought me some flowers to say congratulations.
The big problem is that I am scared of hospitals and am planning a home water birth which by definition will be drug free.
To aid my choice of birth the hospital midwife gave me a leaflet for a breathing, relaxation class (which has some yoga in it too) run locally and during the day for two hours once a week.
Bearing in mind other pregnant employees in the company not only have time off but have it paid as well but as it is at your line managers discretion and because my boss thinks this is un-necessary she said I can't go !!!
I am asking for no favours, I only asked that I work my full work hours around the two hour class. Work will not lose out at all, I will do the same amount of work that I have always done.
Yesterday I was forced into a meeting by the Director and Line manager and the director of the HR department (who was a nice lady and seemed quite shocked at the rudeness of the other two women)
They spent two hours telling me that I 'have an attitude' and that I 'can't decide when I go off on maternity leave' !!!! So work intend on telling me when I can go off and have my baby !!!
I need to learn how to use breathing and relaxation techniques even the HR lady agreed that was necessary but the Director just lost it getting more and more illogically and nasty.
I held my own at the meeting as I was so angry and frustrated but the moment I got home and spoke to my mum on the phone I was weeping uncontrollable.
I am off to the doctors next week to see if they can help me. I can’t sleep for worrying about what they will say on Monday and my headaches are getting worse, I just want to go back to being happy and I don’t understand why these women are so unwilling to be nice.
Why are they being so nasty - I am contracted to work 37 hours between 8am and 7pm Monday to Friday (as longs as I work core hours, I can work the hours of my choice)
Why does it matter to them WHICH 37 hours I work, I work on my own and see the Director maybe one a fortnight and my line manager perhaps once a week - Why prevent me from getting the lessons I need !?!
And the punch line – I work for the ‘caring’ NHS (The UK’s National Health Care Government Funded Company) which are meant to be very understanding about pregnant ladies.
For a more full rant look at \link{\My Blog Entry}
What should I do now ?

OP posts:
amynnixmum · 04/03/2006 11:32

I thought you were entitled to time off for classes.

cupcakes · 04/03/2006 11:35

This sounds awful. Copy this thread and put it in employment issues - you may get some really good advice there.

MaggieT · 04/03/2006 11:35

I think that is for antenatal check ups though. I am not sure a 2 hour relaxation class is called essential.

AussieinLondon · 04/03/2006 11:47

You are entitled to choose when you take your maternity leave - it is just not allowed to be before 11 weeks before your due date. They cannot dictate when you can take your mat leave. As for the class, I am fairly sure given you are stressed re the birth that this class would be considered part of your allowed time off for appointments etc. Check a maternity website or do a search on maternity rights. They are being completely unreasonable.

BabiesEverywhere · 04/03/2006 12:35

Thanks Ladies, it is lovely to read some supportive comments.

HR said I am not entitled to this class off automatically as it is not a hospital appointment and as so it is up to my line manager to make the decision.

It is not the relaxation bit of the class I am interested in, it is where they teach you how to do the breathing and relaxation techiques which I can use (once I master them) during labour.

Off to find the employment issues board.

OP posts:
kayzed · 04/03/2006 12:44

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BabiesEverywhere · 04/03/2006 12:50

My line manager is so negative and talks down to me all the time however I have always laughed it off, as I felt sorry for the sad woman with no personal life.

Normally her bullying tactics don't bother me, I just laugh at her, but now I'm pregnant it really gets me down.

A lady in my office told me that if my line manager was nasty to me again and I didn't report her - then she would report her for it is not just my state of mind making me feel bad, other people have noticed her behaviour too :(

OP posts:
eve2005 · 04/03/2006 13:39

i take it your not in a position to just walk out? i was in a job under a very agressive, bullying supervisor before xmas, the day i found out i was preg i walked out coz i knew i couldn't cope with the stress while preg.

must say though don't put all your faith in the breathing techniques, they're nice to know and can help a little but the most important aspect of coping with a drug free birth is feeling mentally strong enough and confident you can do it and if you've spent months being ground down at work your self confidance will be seriously low.

your collegue is right, their behaviour is out of order and you should report them right away.

Nbg · 04/03/2006 13:51

BE, I am sure I have seen somewhere on the net about time off for classes, not just antenatal appts.

I will try and find it for you.

There must be somebody else that you could involve with this. A union or something.
Their attitude sounds appauling.

Nbg · 04/03/2006 13:54

I've found this but I have read somewhere else about this.

You should be able to take paid time off to attend your antenatal appointments if they take place during working hours. You may be asked to produce evidence that you are pregnant; you will get a Form Mat B1 from your GP or midwife some time after your twentieth week of pregnancy. You can use this as proof of your pregnancy and your expected week of childbirth. You should also be able to attend parentcraft or antenatal classes.

You have this right regardless of your length of service.

That's from the baby centre.

Maybe you could give your local CAB a call. They might be able to give you some more info.

TuttiFrutti · 04/03/2006 14:25

I was told by my HR dept that I was entitled to paid time off while pregnant, not just for medical antenatal appointments but also for parenting and relaxation antenatal classes. My employer wasn't exactly family-friendly, so I assume this is the legal position for everyone and not an act of generosity. I don't know this for sure, but I hope someone on the Employment thread will clarify this for you.

booge · 04/03/2006 14:53

This is quoted from the \link{\tiger employment law site} A goverment site.

You are entitled to paid time off to keep appointments for antenatal care made on the advice of a registered medical practitioner, registered midwife or registered health visitor.

Antenatal care is not restricted to medical examinations. For example, it could also include relaxation classes and parent craft classes.

Except for your first appointment you must be prepared to show your employer if requested:

* A certificate from a registered medical practitioner, registered midwife or registered health visitor confirming that you are pregnant and
* An appointment card or some other document showing that an appointment has been made.

kayzed · 04/03/2006 15:09

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nbg · 04/03/2006 15:17

Good advice Kayzed.

I was going to suggest taking someone in another meeting with you.

I would speak to your midwife about this and maybe she will write a letter for you to produce at work. Maybe also get a confirmation of your place on the classes IYSWIM just so you can say "this is what I'm going to, I'm not wagging it"! I know thats not the issue but at least your doing all you can.

BabiesEverywhere · 04/03/2006 15:51

The Director already has the paperwork on the course and she told me she is ringing this lady to make sure there is no other courses (knock yourself out, of course there isn't else I would be doing it at another time)

I have a doctor's appointment next week so I'll check if they can help, I don't see my midwife for another 8 weeks.

OP posts:
icklmum · 04/03/2006 16:55

Take the time off, go to the classes and if they then refuse to pay you phone ACAS. Then see how quickley they change their attitude, you are entitled by law to have approriate paid time off for any antenatal appointments or classes, inculding relaxation classes, parentcraft and aquanatal etc.

Dont let them get away with this as what they are doing is wrong, I have been through similar things with my employer very recently (he tried sacking me for poor performance after increasing my workload considerably).

Good luck and I hope it all works out for you.

KathrynWales · 04/03/2006 19:36


Your story sounds v familiar. I am an NHS manager and am 24 wks pregnant. Was having more and more work thrust on me, everyone going on about how they would struggle without me etc etc. When i told boss I was pregnant, he said "Oh god, I f*ing hate babies" and by xmas i was totally stressed.

Went to see GP, explained how low and stressed it was all making me feel, and she immediately put me off sick. am off until start of mat leave at the end of this month.

As someone who has handled NHS sickness policy for other employees, let me reassure you that if you do go off, policy treats it as 'long term' and therefore the usual round of interviews etc happen a lot less often. I've been off since xmas and not had one yet, for eg.In addition, if you do what i did, and get Dr to write 'complications of pregnancy' on sick note, HR are not allowed to penalise you/sack you for sickness absence, as is regarded as temporary state of affairs due to pregnancy.

In other words, go off sick, attend your classes, and let work wait. My GP said to me "The most important thing right now is welfare of you and your baby. anything that stresses you out is therefore a health risk. Doctors have no problem with writing sick notes for pregnant mums." Midwife also backed this up.

Good luck xx

BabiesEverywhere · 05/03/2006 13:58

Wow KathrynWales, I don't feel as alone now.

I would be interested to have a chat with you off the board, if you don't mind. :) My email addy is Jenny at babieseverywhere dot com

I hope to hear from you.

OP posts:
jofeb04 · 05/03/2006 14:34

I used to work for an employer who i though was pritty good. It was male-orrientated, with only about 6women then. I never questioned why that was until i got pregnant.
I suffered with severe morning sickness to begin with, lasting all day long. Every morning, i would always try to get into work, often turning back ome with the sickness. I always rang my boss up every morning, and his response was its morning sickness, and it doesnt last all day (WTF). I had many months off work with sickness then high blood pressure, doctor in hospital told me i cant work due to the danger.
I was then made redundent. I wish to this day that i told my boss exactly where to go.
God Luck in whatever you decide.

BabiesEverywhere · 07/03/2006 21:12

I managed to get this morning off as annual leave to attend the first breathing and relaxation class, after being denied annual leave twice before.

But yesterday I took another manager in to my line manager with me and said I didn't think it was reasonable to refuse me annual leave because I am using the time to attend a post-natal class. She backed down but I had to send an email to her cc'd to my director saying that I understood this was a one off... I was cross but I needed this time off so I agreed.

She has flattely refused to allow me to book another half day holiday next week.. but I don't understand surely I am still allowed to use my annual leave any which way I like !!!

Why does it matter to them if I am willing to use my annual leave to attend these classes, I just feel they are determined to stop me attending these classes by hook or by crook.

I went to see my doctor today, she was lovely and understanding and has agreed to write me a letter saying she 'recommends' that I do the breathing course. She couldn't understand my line managers and directors attitude.

When I got into work I spent 30 minutes talking to another HR lady who off the record said how surprised she was at the attitude I was getting especially as pregnant women are a no go when it comes to refusing time off etc. She said work have to let me do anything my doctor 'recommends'.

So I left work early today as my headaches are still bad and I have decided that until my headaches go away I'm signing myself off work. Certainly for tomorrow and we'll see how it goes.

I will take in/post the doctors letter to HR and today's HR lady is confident that something can be sorted out.

So basically I am going to stay home and relax until my baby and I feel better and let HR fight it out with my line manager and Director about the classes.

Fingers crossed that this is all resolved very soon.

OP posts:
kayzed · 07/03/2006 21:45

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BabiesEverywhere · 08/03/2006 11:33

Update here \link{\Click Here}

OP posts:
mandaz · 08/03/2006 12:31

Can I suggest that you contact your union and in future if any meetings are called, take a representative in with you so that you have a witness to all that is said. It sometimes helps if you are feeling like you are being unfairly treated or need some support.Your bosses attitude amounts to bullying and you are not being unreasonable asking to work around a class. I really would get some support with this and keep a log of everything that is said. It makes me so angry that even in this day and age, businesses still treat pregnant women so badly and I have to say, from what I have heard, women bosses are often the worst!!!

KathrynWales · 08/03/2006 18:32


Am glad you decided to go off sick. Really is the best option in your position, as isn't really good for you to be having to wage daily battles with bosses/HR !
GPs very happy to put off pregnant women. And HR/boss powerless in this respect as NHS sickness policy very clear and steeped in hoops they have to jump through.
Of course am happy to chat with you off forum if you prefer. if you still need a moan, my address is kathryn 2001 at whsmithnet dot co dot uk (no gaps) Smile

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