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Pregnancy, 'miscarriage' and sick pay...advice please!

Discussion in 'Personal' started by fantastischfish, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Dear all,

    I'm posting this on behalf of a friend who doesn't work in teaching, but I thought since there's such a wealth of experience on here that Id ask.

    A fiend was pregnant but discovered at 20 weeks that her baby's kidneys had not developed, in addition to a few other medical issues. She was advised that if she carried to full term, the baby would live a matter of minutes, if at all. She took the heart-breaking decision (and the recommendation of the doctors) to deliver at 21 weeks. She is understandably devastated.

    She returned to work to find that her pay had been cut very significantly. She has been noted as 'sick' on days when she attended hospital for scans and monitoring to check the baby's progress leading up to the discovery regarding the kidneys. She was also absent from work on the day she attended hospital to be given medication that would induce labour, and on the day of delivery. There was also a funeral service. Now, just 10 post-delivery and 4 days post-funeral, she has returned to work.

    Can anyone offer any advice regarding sick pay/pay deduction throughout this period? We are aware that she doesn't qualify for maternity pay as the rules state she must be 26 weeks to qualify. However, my thoughts would be thus:

    1) Any scans, appointments and other ante-natal care should be paid in full and NOT recorded as sick days.
    2) She should be paid as per her company's bereaved parent policy for the period post-delivery and for the day of the funeral.
    3) The only days that do not count as ante-natal care are the days post-delivery which were taken to recover physically and emotionally. Though she should be covered by the bereavement policy here surely?
    4) Even if NONE of the above is true, a minimum of SSP should be paid?

    I think this is so harsh and would appreciate any information from anyone with experience/knowledge in this area. My friend is quite young and obviously not in the best state of mind at the moment, so I want to help her if I can.

    Many thanks

    Eva xx
  2. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    This does indeed seem very harsh.

    I'm so sorry for your friend, but I don't have any concrete advice to offer.

    All I know is that some private companies really do try to take the .....
  3. midnight_angel

    midnight_angel Senior commenter

    As some of you may remember, my sister lost her baby at 4 days old almost two years ago now (she now has another incredibly healthy and happy 7 month old). She too found out about a medical problem at the 20 week scan (heart issues), but decided to carry him full term, knowing he would need the op within days of being born (which he had at 3 days old). She was a mother hoping for the best.

    Now to get back to your point, she was given her full maternity benefits (this was only statutory anyway, due to her low paid job), which was a very good thing as she needed the months afterwards to grieve, and attend weekly counselling sessions. Maybe it's because at 21 weeks, your friend wasn't deemed full term (whereas my sister had given birth at 37 weeks?) and so my sister was given SSP, however I find this very surprising as many people have premature babies, and are always given full maternity to spend time with the child. It would definitely be worth looking into for your friend (maybe someone else can investigate - I'd imagine it would be too horrible for her).
  4. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Hi Eva

    Sorry to hear of your friend's sadness.

    From the point at which your friend notified her employer that she was pregnant (she DID tell them?) she was covered in the 'protected period' against less-favoourable treatment on ground of pregnancy / maternity.

    It is indeed the case that she was entitled to have paid absence from work to attend ante-natal appointments.

    Her protection on this ground would have ended with the death of her baby. However, if as you say the employer has a 'bereaved parent' policy, the conditions of this should apply.

    The claim (though hopefully it should not come to this) would be for unlawful deduction of earnings.

    There is more information about this on the CA website here.
  5. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Thank you GL, I was hoping you'd be along to advise. Many thanks.

    She has had no previous sickness prior to falling pregnant. All leave had been pregnancy related. It has been a total of 10 working days between giving birth (and the death of the child) to returning to work. Her employer stipulates 7 days bereavement leave for parents, which she should qualify for surely? And then she gets 7 paid sick days, which should cover all of her absence without deduction.

    Thanks again x
  6. felltogroundinberkeleysquare

    felltogroundinberkeleysquare Established commenter

    Oh dear! Very sorry to hear that. A kind employer would be all sympathy ( when I had my daughter at 26 weeks, my maternity leave started then, even though I was ill). I have a horrid feeling that unkind employers will simply say the baby was not viable and so the normal rules do not apply. It simply depends on their sympathy, and whatever happens, you need to take the time to recover since although my baby did survive I had post trauamtic distress syndrome for about 3 years afterwards, and I cannot now remember her first 3 years, as I had to block them out of my mind to keep going - I had two older children at this point. Whatever you do, put yourself first, otherwise the damage will be longer to you and moving forwards, whatever the workplace says.

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