Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:06 pm
Post subject: Not sure what's for the best!
Hi all I'm 21 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I'm a care assistant in the community and have told try work I don't wanna go into certain clients because they are far too heavy but they won't listen to me no matter how much I have said it. I go on mat leave 10th dec but my back is killing me and I just feel like I should just cry my husband doesn't want me to go on sick leave until mat leave what's every1 option? Xx
Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:03 pm
Posted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:27 pm
Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:39 pm
Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:17 pm
I'd speak to them again, they don't have to do an individual risk assessment that's a misconception (My OH has just qualified as a Health and Safety advisor), but they do have to already have policies relating to pregnant staff in their general risk assessment so I would ask for a copy of that which they have to give you.
They do have to take your pregnancy into account and shouldn't be asking you to do things which could cause you harm, it's a good idea to speak to your GP/Midwife and get them to write down what they think is reasonable as well so you can go to them, armed with that. If possible they should agree to switch you to lighter duties, but in reality there isn't always that option within th workplace, and it's so vague as well what lighter duties actually are
If you haven't had specific problems then they could argue it's not affecting you and claim the backache is normal for pregnancy, so it may be the case that they say to you there's nothing they can do and in effect force you onto sick leave, be careful about doing that though as some employers have a clause in your contract so that if you go off sick during pregnancy from a certain point they can make you take your Maternity leave from then, in general that's the 4th week before your due date but sometimes it's earlier.
I had this issue in one of my pregnancies when I had placenta praevia and was hospitalised at 28 weeks, I went back on light duties which they were really good about but they said if it happened again I would have to start my Maternity leave from then which if I had been planning on returning to the job would have been a major problem, as you want the maximum time off after the birth really not before.
They can't sack you for taking time off for pregnancy related conditions though and they can't class it as sickness days in the normal way and penalise you for it in other ways, I think sometimes though that some employers don't appreciate the changes women go through and just plain don't want what they consider the inconvenience of having to adapt around you when you're pregnant and some even make things difficult on purpose in the hopes you'll quit Personally I'd jut refuse to do the lifting but not go on sick leave as they can't make you lift patients when pregnant and they can't sack you for not doing so they'd have to find some other way round it Good Luck tackling them about it xx
Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:47 pm
That's really sad that your employer has such little regard for yours and your baby's safety at work. I spend most of my shift lugging heavy patients around, up and down stairs and we are told to go onto light duties as soon as we notify then we are pregnant. If anyone wishes to remain on normal duties they have to sign a form to say they have requested that against advice. You shouldn't be lifting full stop! Do these patients have hoists or any lifting gear you could use? It seems perfectly fair to request not to go to the very heavy patients to me that is a reasonable request. DLO5 has made some really good suggestions so I would follow them up and see where you stand in rmation to there policies. X
Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:17 am
I'm also goin on mat leave from 10tth December where I'll be 34 weeks then, I'm a few weeks ahead of you so I'm guessing you will be around 28 weeks when you go on mat leave???
The earliest they can make you take your maternity leave if you go off sick beforehand is at 28 weeks, so my advice would be to be signed off sick from now.... . If you were going to be going on mat leave from 28 weeks anyway.
I'm also a healthcare assistant but in a hospital and although I haven't been put on light duties at such I wouldn't lift a patient at all, (to be honest, pregnant or not you shouldn't be lifting patients anyway!!) I'm suffering with my back too and it's a heavy job with being constantly on your feet and running around, so I feel your pain.
Do you have your own regular patients that you go to? Could you not swap with someone for these last few weeks to go into the more independent ones who can get themselves up & about but just need assistance with washing/dressing etc.
I think it's bad really that the company you work for haven't considered you a bit more, but I would defintely consider going on the sick xxx