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Attendance Meeting and Pregnant

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by apostrophefanatic, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. apostrophefanatic

    apostrophefanatic New commenter

    Hi all,
    I work in a lovely school with generally lovely and supportive SLT AND HT.
    I have however been called into an attendance meeting with HT.
    Last year I had 4 none pregnancy related sickness days and I’ve also had 3 afternoons off for ‘normal’ antenatal appointments.
    I have also had (last year) half an hour off one morning when I had morning sickness, an hour off for an emergency dentist appointment (which I would class as pregnancy related - teeth issues because of pregnancy and only being able to take paracetamol with 2 infections) and a day off for painful Braxton Hicks in my second trimester (I was advised to stay off work and rest by midwife).
    I have two upcoming ‘normal’ antenatal appointments.

    I’m aware that that looks very bitty which makes it look a lot but the even with all my appointments last year, I think it totals 8/9days or something.

    I have a few symptoms of something pregnancy related and wanted a quick Drs appointment but can’t get one out of school hours which means I’ve stupidly left the issue now because I’m worried so have decided to wait to see my midwife for the normal appointment.

    Would anyone take another person in with them union wise or trust in the good nature of the school and head?

  2. oscillator

    oscillator Occasional commenter

    You are legally allowed time off for antenatal appointments - these do not 'count'. Pregnancy related absences are not meant to be 'counted' in the same way as 'regular' sickness. Emergency dental care?? PUHLEASE tell me it's a joke they're holding this against you!? So I count it 4 days (5 if you throw in the dental care and don't have a note that it's pregnancy related and they are being sticklers).
    bonxie likes this.
  3. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    And the dental appointment was only an hour off, so hardly worth counting.
    Hopefully the attendance meeting is just "standard procedure" and the outcome will be "there's no problem because the recent absences are pregnancy-related".

    In terms of whether to take someone with you, you've said they're generally supportive. Perhaps give your union a call, and then go to the meeting prepared with a list of the absences and the reasons, and tell them you've spoken to your union and they say... Hopefully, if they are not familiar with the rules about pregnancy-related absences, the fact that you've spoken to the union will be enough to make them realise they may be wrong, and that you will call on the union if they pursue anything.

    Please don't not go to the doctor because you are worried about what the school says.
    bonxie likes this.
  4. ThereAreBunniesInMyHead

    ThereAreBunniesInMyHead Occasional commenter

    I had a similar issue once. I took my union rep with me which I think my school felt was heavy handed but my union rep literally walked in, sat down, took the list of absences / appointments and used a black pen to scrub out anything maternity related. Then he was like 'Well that's all the excluded pregnancy issues off the table. So what out of the remaining absences would you like to talk about?". SLT looked shocked and started blubbering on about the equality act meaning they had to treat my absences the same as everyone else's. So my union rep spent twenty minutes explaining what the Equality Act actually means, and basically concluded the meeting by saying "Right so now we've established that she's only had X days off, and all of those days have medical evidence / notes, presumably we can all go home now?" SLT were too scared to reply and they never spoke of my absences again! I still like the idea of bringing the union rep back again at some point just to scare the living bejeezus out of them.

    If you feel like you want some support there, I would take them. Any school that is holding an absence meeting because of pregnancy appointments / illnesses may need a little kick up the bum! lol!
  5. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    Sometimes an absence interview is a mere formality, triggered by a number of days. If you have a good relationship with SLT I wouldn't be worried. But be prepared to defend the dates with appointment letters etc just in case.
  6. apostrophefanatic

    apostrophefanatic New commenter

    HT was as usual very nice.
    No the dentist was not forgotten about and is on my record despite it being in PPA time.
    I explained coming in an hour late and that was written down. I explained another couple of days of pregnancy related illnesses. Of course as these are clearly different times it has triggered something.
    I then had a formal letter explaining that there is no more action to be taken, that we should strive for 0 days off and mentioned my pregnancy/ if there was anything anyone could do to help.
    The letter had the same dates on but without the additional notes about being pregnancy related, just ‘illnesses’.
    Though HT and all SLT are fair and know they are pregnancy related, I feel like going back to have the annotated copy.
    It’s not just me; these get triggered often and I know others that have had them too.
    It’s certainly put me off having any days off regardless of how bad I am; I’ve dragged myself in. Anyway, I don’t want to seem like I’m moaning because I genuinely love the job. :)
  7. skellig1182

    skellig1182 Senior commenter

    Absence is usually triggered if it’s 3/5 different reasons for being off or over 10 days for one. I had a lot more time off than you did. They wouldn’t call me in for small things like what you have explained. When are you due? Perhaps take some union advice. I’m sure it won’t be the case but I’ve heard of some schools that try and get you out before you go on maternity.xx

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