Working in last trimester: Hi all, I have a meeting with... - NCT

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Working in last trimester

MiniS5 profile image
MiniS5

Hi all,

I have a meeting with my bosses tomorrow and they’ve already told me that they will expect me to carry on working in the office when I hit 28 weeks and throughout my third trimester.. it was my understanding from the gov website that I should be working from home in the last trimester where possible? And seeing as I have an office job I can easily work from home!

My work place state they don’t think I’m high risk despite the fact the people I share an office with do not care about covid one bit..

Just to mention, I work for a very small company - I have had no risk assessments and they do not have an occupational health / HR department

Does anyone have any guidance at all on this?

Thanks x

17 Replies

I’m afraid I can’t give you any guidance on this as I’m totally clueless, but it does sound unreasonable for them to be making you work the office when you could easily do your job from home!!! Could you give citizens advice a call to find out your rights?

Good luck lovely!! And stick to your guns on this, you’re carrying a very important mini human being and they need to be supportive. Xx

MiniS5 profile image
MiniS5 in reply to Jane_e

Citizens advice is a good idea thank you Jane! It’s nice to know I’m not being unreasonable! Xx

Jane_e profile image
Jane_e in reply to MiniS5

Let us know how you get on ❤️❤️❤️

You don't have to work from home now from 28 weeks providing that your work place can put in place ways to minimise your risk of catching covid and making sure that you can keep to all current guidelines. This includes how your get to work etc. IE. If you're having to travel on public transport in rush hour etc. They could look at adjusting your hours so you're not traveling at peak times etc.

They must by law do a risk assessment and should have already done one for you when you told them you were pregnant.

It's not acceptable if they have not done one, regardless if you don't have a HR or occupational health, someone should be responsible for the companies health and safety. There should be a HSE poster displayed on site detailing who is responsible for this. If you feel your employer is not fulfilling their legal duties relating to your health or safety you can look up more information on what to do at (hse.gov.uk/contact/workplac...).

From the giv website:

Pregnant women of any gestation should not be required to continue working if this is not supported by the risk assessment. Pregnant women are considered ‘clinically vulnerable’ or in some cases ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ to coronavirus (COVID-19), and therefore require special consideration as contained in government guides for different industries.

If your work place have done no risk assessment and have done nothing to mitigate any risk to yourself, I personally would request that until they can provide one and show that they have put in adjustments to keep you safe that they suspend you on full pay.

From the government website:

Where adjustments to the work environment and role are not possible (e.g. manufacturing/retail industries) and alternative work cannot be found, you should be suspended on paid leave. Advice on suspension and pay can be found in HSE guidance.

ACAS, Citizens Advice and pregnant then screwed are all really helpful with free information. If you want more information on your rights and help on how to discuss the issue with your company. Good luck xx

MiniS5 profile image
MiniS5 in reply to Seb9

Hi Seb9Thanks so much for such a detailed reply it really is massively appreciated.

I spoke to the bosses today and asked about my risk assessment - apparently they did one weeks ago.. I just wasn’t there for it and haven’t seen it!! (I don’t believe they did one at all)

I was wondering if you could tell me where you saw that you don’t need to work from home in the last trimester anymore? Thanks again for the time you took to reply xx

Seb9 profile image
Seb9 in reply to MiniS5

Hi no problem, I hate work places not looking after pregnant woman correctly! We're protected by law for good reason and bosses who don't have the right procedures in place wind me right up!

This is the Web address for the info on working after 28 weeks :

gov.uk/government/publicati...

Copied from the site:

Work regards to working after 28 weeks :

Your employer should ensure you are able to adhere to any active national guidance on social distancing and/or advice for pregnant women considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable (this group may previously have been advised to shield).

(In regards to sheilding it ended at the end of March so even the extremely clinically vulnerable are no longer under the advise that they have to shield).

From the government website advice on shielding and work :

If you cannot work from home, we are no longer advising that you do not attend the workplace. Your employer is required to take steps to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace and should be able to explain to you the measures they have put in place to keep you safe at work. Some employers may introduce regular testing of employees as part of these measures. You may also want to consider how you get to and from work including if it is possible to avoid using public transport during rush hour.

I got that from this government web page:

gov.uk/government/publicati...

If they cannot show you the steps they have put in place to keep you safe and ensure that they have covid-19 secure policies in place, I would think you would still have grounds to request either to work from home or be suspended on full pay until your maternity leave starts.

If you feel like they haven't put enough in place to keep you safe I would definitely call ACAS or citizens advice for more information as to how to approach it with your employer.

MiniS5 profile image
MiniS5 in reply to Seb9

You’re a whizz at this Seb thank you again!! So helpful. I’m an FTM and after many years of IVF / miscarriages I’m just so paranoid about this pregnancy and would feel safer if I knew work were taking it all a bit more seriously! Thanks again my lovely 😘 xx

Seb9 profile image
Seb9 in reply to MiniS5

I've worked for some horrid people before! So I'm always prepared to go to war if people aren't being treated well 😂

Hopefully you can go in fully armed and prepared to argue your case! If they put in lots of safety measure then you should be fine to carry on working, but if not I'd definitely be fighting for working from home or being suspended.

Will keep everything crossed for you. Good luck ☘️

Saphire10 profile image
Saphire10 in reply to MiniS5

I’m sure they need to do it with you?? Mine they did with me but I still had to work also😣

I was in a similar situation. I spoke toaCAs and unfortunately it isn’t government rules it’s just a guidance. They said if the risk cannot be completely removed then you must be suspended

On full pay or work

From home. I

Spoke with my midwife and she also

Stated the same but said they can’t medically get involved as it

Isn’t medical guidance. They are following the same as government.

Have they put a new risk assessment in place for you?

My employment (local council school) have said I can currently social distant for 2 hours of my working day. Once I reach those two

Hours I could leave. So

Worse case this will be happening, but best case I will be removed from the school completely. But if I go in for those two hours I have to use different entrance, can’t go through the building. Basically

Stay in that one place.

Hope that helps.

Hi

You have received some excellent advice already but to just add a bit of a shortcut that you might be able to use. Your GP could write you a “fitnote” that states that you can only work from home. For example SPD is quite common in the third trimester or you might have anaemia and low iron. Your GP could say you are not fit to work in the office if you complain of SPD pain when walking/commuting or feel dizzy and exhausted. I had both of these in my last pregnancy and luckily I had a occupational health assessment that reduced my hours and allowed me to work from home 2 days a week. But my GP would have also been happy to give me a note if necessary. Some of them are more sympathetic than others.

You should also consider how difficult it might be to work from home in a culture that is clearly not very supportive or inclusive! You may want to brush up your CV and look around for alternatives towards the end of your maternity leave.

You should have been given a copy of your risk assessment, which needs to be signed/dated and reviewed at regular intervals. I'm a FTM and had 2 miscarriages before so fought for extra consideration from my employers for antenatal care.

I think that everything has been covered by peoples replies.

It is shocking how some employers treat there employees. Unfortunately I was on similar position and had to literally beg for a risk assessment (I work with very violent children). Due to covid I didn’t see them whilst pregnant 1-12 weeks. After this time I was placed behind a desk in class with a box marked out.

I don’t feel safe, however, as school have said I’m safe in their risk assessment it means I have to be in 🙄. It does mean when I come off maternity I shall leave.

I have had a lot of days sick as been suffering pelvic girdle pain. at first I felt guilty for being off but now keep reminding self how been treated.

Last week I saw a new doctor for my PGP, she was amazing!!! She firstly made me talk about my pregnancy from start to finish. By the end she told me she was signing me off for PGP and that I can only return to work with an Occupational Health referral (work have been very slow and haven’t done this yet; I am now pushing them!). I contacted union who have also said I must have referral before returning.

I’d never considered changing DR but so pleased I met this one by chance. She implied if it didn’t improve at work she would sign me off till the summer holidays!

If you can afford to get signed off xxx

All this advice is really good - just to add, if you can get what they are telling you in writing, that can be helpful. Even just in email is good!

If you do need further support, Pregnant Then Screwed offers good advice and legal/ HR support should you need it. Good luck with everything x

Update, just had confirmation I’ll be working 2 hours in the morning from next Friday. This is where I can safely social distance. I’ll be removed fromThe unit area

Before any other staff come. I feel

Comfortable

Doing this. I will

Still be lateral flow testing, PPE so hopefully

Keep

Safe. I do personally

Think if someone

In my unit tests positive then the situation will be reassessed. Hope you manage to get things sorted x

I want to thank you everyone for replying! My work have now carried out a risk assessment and are arranging occupational health for me. Thanks again xx

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