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sickness absence- over reacting or should I get advice from union?

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by WolvesLass, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Im not normally a get the union involved type of 3girl, unlike some, HOWEVER I'd call them for this! School sound really unfair and I think they need to realise you wont put up with it!

    Good luck
  2. I agree with Wolve lass - I normally don't like the hassle of unions- but HOW DARE THEY! I would get a note from your doctor too confirming what he told you!

  3. Paradoxicalgirly

    Paradoxicalgirly New commenter

    Yup, I agree - get the union in. Also agree with what bradley10 says regarding note from your doctor. Alternatively self-refer to occ health. Stress that school is putting your pregnancy at risk by doing what they're doing.
  4. emmamc252

    emmamc252 New commenter

    thanks for the replies, I've been thinking about it all day and just think its very unfair. I understand that school need us to be in etc but the fact of the matter is that I am just not coping working full time whilst I am still having these exrteme pregnancy symptoms. I am trying my best to be in and do my job but I don't know what else I can do. I am exhausted when i get home from work even after one day, by the end of a week I am just dead. I have gone to bed as early as 630 and not woke up until the next morning.
    I just don't know what they want me to do? do they think i'm exaggerating? do they think i like feeling like this? trust me I would rather be breezing through my pregnancy rather than feeling like death every day!
    The midwife is supposed to be giving me a letter to say they are "recomending" that i go to aquanatal classes as it should help with some of my symptoms etc, I wasn't going to put in for this yet as I felt it was a bit cheeky, but am now thinking if it gives me a morning and 2 lessons off (which it would) then I think I am going to do it, at least it will give me some restbite in the week. apart from that I can't think of anything I can do to make this any easier or to help me cope with working whilst I feel like this.
    I have a parents evening next wednesday that will go on until 8pm, how I will cope with this I have no clue!

  5. madenglishgirl

    madenglishgirl New commenter

    I thought that pregnancy related illness wasn't counted in the 'normal' sickness days? Defo get the union to check it out.
  6. Paradoxicalgirly

    Paradoxicalgirly New commenter

    It shouldn't count as 'normal' sickness days and you're not supposed to be reprimanded for it. The other thing I was thinking was to get your GP to do a Fit for Work certificate which says that you are fit for work but with amendments made to your workplace. I have one which allows me to work from home.
  7. Don't just speak to the union phone ACAS their phone line is opened till 8pm and they will give you the imformation you need imediatly, you might need to wait to speak to the union.
    If I remember rightly what they are doing would count as sex discrimination. (I looked up lots of this stuff a few years ago for a friend)
  8. atwoodfan

    atwoodfan New commenter

    You've had some really good advice, and I do hope your union is able to help. It just isn't on to be treated like this - pregnancy is after all a <u>temporary</u> condition - and therefore the target is potentially meaningless for as long as you are pregnant. It sounds a bit like either someone hasn't read all the right policies, or they are trying to make your life difficult.
    Where I am, people sometimes need loads of time off when pregnant, esp. first trimester, and no-one ever makes a fuss. Obviously all the cover is time-consuming, but that's the way it goes.
    You have to be given: time off for antenatal appointments <u>and </u>if recommended by your doctor other forms of antenatal care / relaxation classes. The Direct.gov website is quite useful for this;
    "Antenatal care may include relaxation or parent craft classes as well as medical examinations, if these are recommended by your doctor. If you can, try to avoid taking time off work when you can reasonably arrange classes or examinations outside working hours."
    I was allowed to attend NCT classes for 3 / 4 Tuesday mornings in a row, as they didn't have evening-only classes near me.

    Direct.gov also says:
    <h3>Discrimination and pregnancy</h3>It is unlawful sex discrimination for employers to treat women less favourably because of their pregnancy or because they take maternity leave. For example, this includes:
    • trying to cut your hours without your permission
    • suddenly giving you poor staff reports
    • giving you unsuitable work
    • making you redundant because of your pregnancy (you might still be made redundant for other reasons)
    • treating days off sick due to pregnancy as a disciplinary issue
    I think the last bullet point might be useful - what they are doing is surely this...
    Good luck!!
  9. lucchese

    lucchese New commenter

    I echo what all the others have said: get the union involved. This is not only grossly unfair but illegal. There is no way you should feel pressured by anyone to come to school if you can't manage it during pregnancy and you should not be discliplined for it either. The sooner the school realises this the better. Good luck x
  10. emmamc252

    emmamc252 New commenter

    Hi, just wanted to say thanks for all the advice, I have contacted my union purely for advice but am still waiting for a reply. I am going to try phoning acas as suggested tomorrow, unfortunately haven't had tome today away formwork due to parents evening.
    As I said in original post the smt member who conducted my back to work interview said that "it's not disciplinary when it's just internal and that they wouldn't dismiss you due to pregnancy absence," however after reading the policy documents it certainly sounds "disciplinary" to me. The letter says absence is "causing concern" which definitely to me sounds very negative to me , for something I really can't help!
    I post how I get on if/when I get a union response and when I have the next meeting with work. Off to bed now after a 14 hour day! Joy!

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