24 weeks and need advice

Hi all, wondered if anyone could give me some advice??

I'm currently 24 weeks pregnant and having issues...

My work are not being supportive if my pregnancy! They won't do a risk assessment as apparently the office had one in January!! (Before I started at the company) and I have been waiting 6 weeks for a back support for my chair, chased it but very lazy feedback! I work in London so have to be up at 6:30 to get the train in and the commute is killing me, I'm falling asleep everywhere I sit and my emotions are all over the place.... I asked if I could reduce my hours but if I do they want to reduce my pay with will affect my smp or work from home occasionally but my manager said no to this!!!!

Doctor said he would write a note asking them to address the above but didn't seem overly interested! Even when I told him how I was feeling and cried!!! Useless!!!

I also get a lot of stabbing pains around my stomach which in some instances means I can't move due to the pain... No one seems interested in this either...

Oh and my midwife doesn't answer the phone or reply to texts so I feel totally on my own here!!

Sorry it's a long moany message but I would really appreciate any advice anyone could give :)

Thanks

Ella

9 Replies

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  • i can totally relate to this!

    i am currently 21 weeks and have been in agony with back and belly pain since 16 weeks! i also work far from home and drive 25 miles each way to the office daily which is such a strain :(

    if you can get your doctor to write a letter explaining your symptoms and his recommendation that you work from home then this may be of help. perhaps suggest to your work that you can do monday, wednesday and friday at home and the other 2 days at the office?

    unfortunately there isnt anything to say that your work have to be lenient with you because you are pregnant, i wish there were!

    i am so sorry to hear that you are struggling but if you need a person to rant at please feel free to message me any time xx

  • They aren't obliged to do a risk assessment specifically for you although you should have been given a copy to check through in case you do have specific risks/needs that aren't covered, and also just so you know what activities you should not be taking part in. Is there an HR department you could get in touch with directly? If your manager is being so unhelpful. Can you get an occupational health referral?

  • I had a very physical job in central London and had to be up at 4.30am to get in each day. It is knackering when you are pregnant! They did do a specific pregnancy risk assessment just for me though, so not sure why your work aren't doing this?? Maybe look into he employee manual or contract about that and their policies. As for shortening hours, it is only right they would cut your pay accordingly as being pregnant doesn't mean you get receive special treatment as such in the work arena.....if you aren't working the hours, you shouldn't get paid for them....no one else would. However, they sound very unsupportive which isn't very nice to deal with. I hope you can get some form of risk assessment in place and get equipment, etc you need to make working more comfortable. I was lucky and had very supportive colleagues that helped me get the company to consider my rights as a pregnant woman at work and fought my corner on silly things.

    Your midwife really needs to pay you some more attention too......maybe make an appointment with her where there is no escape lol. Good luck with it all x

  • It's sounds awful, do you get company sick pay? Could you go off sick then build your case?

    All pregnant employees are entitled to a health and safety risk assessment.

    This will ensure that your working conditions do not put you or your unborn baby in danger. Things that might be risky include:

    Night-shift work.

    Noise.

    Lots of travelling.

    Working with dangerous materials like chemicals.

    Very cold or very hot conditions.

    Working with radiation.

    If there is a risk, your employer must do whatever is reasonable to prevent it.

    If the risk can’t be avoided, your employer must offer you suitable alternative work, or you may need to change your working hours or conditions.

    If there is no alternative work, your employer must suspend you on full pay.

    You will need to tell your employer in writing that you are pregnant and ask for a risk assessment to be carried out. Speak to your supervisor/line manager about it. You may be asked to provide a certificate from your midwife or GP confirming your pregnancy.

    If your employer isn’t being helpful, you can take matters further by calling the Health and Safety Executive on 0845 345 0055 or your local authority’s Environmental Health Department. You can also find answers to some frequently asked questions about working safely during pregnancy at workingfamilies.org.uk.

    good luck with everything.

    Xx

  • They don't have to do a risk assessment for you, but they should review their risk assessment after you told them you were pregnant.

    nidirect.gov.uk/index/infor...

    "If you have a problem receiving your rights while working when pregnant, talk to your employer - it may be a misunderstanding. If this doesn't work, you may need to make a complaint using your employer’s grievance procedure."

    As far as you midwife is concerned, ask to speak to the Supervisor of Midwives at the hospital, they are there to support you.

    Have you contacted your local NCT branch, they might be able to help you and support you or put you in contact with some other pregnant ladies, it's great to get a network to moan to when you're having an off day.

  • Hi,

    I'm so sorry that you are having such a bad response from your employers. They are in fact legally required to carry out a risk assesment specifically for you once you have provided written notification of your pregnancy. It's usually known as the New and Expectant Mothers risk assesment and should cover everything including commute etc. I can provide you with an example if it helps as I conduct them at work.

    From a legal point of view please find below the official Information available not the HSE.gov.uk website. It's lengthy for which I apologise However clearly states what you are entitled to if they are not able to change the environment/working hours etc. I hope this helps.

    Regulation 3 of MHSW places a legal duty on all employers to assess the health and safety risks that their employees are exposed to whilst at work. Once the risks have been assessed, the employer is then required to put in place the appropriate health and safety measures to control those identified risks.

    In addition to the requirements of Regulation 3 MHSW, Re\gulation 16 of MHSW also requires that the risk assessment should include any specific risks to females of childbearing age who could become pregnant, and any risks to new and expectant mothers. These risks can be from any process, working conditions, or physical, biological or chemical agents.

    Employers have certain obligations towards their employees once they have been notified in writing that she is a new or expectant mother. When an employee provides written notification (regulation 18 of MHSW) to her employer stating that she is pregnant, or that she has given birth within the past six months or that she is breastfeeding, the employer should immediately take into account any risks identified in their workplace risk assessment. If that risk assessment has identified any risks to the health and safety of a new or expectant mother, or that of her baby, and these risks cannot be avoided by taking any necessary preventive and protective measures under other relevant health and safety legislation, then employers must take action to remove, reduce or control the risk.

    If the risk cannot be removed employers must take the following actions:

    Action 1 - Temporarily adjust her working conditions and/or hours of work; or if that is not possible

    Action 2 - Offer her suitable alternative work (at the same rate of pay) if available, or if that is not feasible;

    Action 3 - Suspend her from work on paid leave for as long as necessary, to protect her health and safety, and that of her child.

    MHSW also states that where a new or expectant mother works nights and she provides a medical certificate from her GP or Midwife which says that working night shifts will affect her health, then her employer must suspend her from work, on full pay, for as long as necessary. However, the Employment Rights Act 1996 provides that where appropriate, suitable alternative work should be offered, on the same terms and conditions, before any suspension from work is considered.

    Although it is not a legal requirement for employers to conduct another specific or further individual risk assessment for new and expectant mothers, employers may choose to do so as part of the process by which they reach a decision about what action should be taken. An employer’s risk assessment should have already considered any specific risks to new and expectant mothers when considering the rest of the workplace. This will enable employers to take immediate action, if and when necessary.

    However, if an employer suspects that the general risk assessment is no longer valid or that there has been a significant change to the matters to which it relates, then the employer should revisit and review that risk assessment accordingly. This would be the case for all risks, including those to new and expectant mothers.

    Other HSE legislation that protects the health and safety of new and expectant mothers at work is the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

    Good luck, I hope it gets better soon.

    xxx

  • Hmmm that should have said *ON the website, not not the website. Damn autocorrect.

  • Be clear - if there is one person in the workplace that an employer cannot touch it is the expectant mother. If you find grounds that they are making your life difficult on purpose or through negligence you are protected not only through Maternity law but through Sex discrimination law as pregnancy specifically relates to the female condition. Don't be afraid. They have to make reasonable adjustments for you just as if you were disabled under the Disability Discrimination act. When you talk to HR directly bandy a few words like "reasonable adjustment", "being pregnant", " feeling vulnerable and upset", "being in pain and scared for baby", "not listened to", "not wanting to continue feeling like the sick pregnant woman in corner who nobody can be bothered with", and then watch them panic and take you seriously. If you can put it in writing (I sent an email copying in line managers) then all the better in my experience. My roles and responsibilities have been considerably reduced and my hours monitored to minimum required....in fact I'm being completely ignored in the other direction (ie just leave her alone and she can't say anything bad about us). Top thing to do is gen up as much as possible and get all free advice you can from brilliant links provided above in other posts. Print off your Company policy docs and go through with fine toothcomb. You'll find the strength you need by being more genned up than your line manager then watch them panic. If you have lawyer friends or professional friends who know lawyers ask them for advice (I found an employment tribunal judge just by putting a few feelers out) Good luck and if you need any further help just shout.

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