Maternity Advice.

Discussion in 'Third Trimester' started by Overthemoon2, May 17, 2016.

  1. Overthemoon2

    Overthemoon2 Well-Known Member

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    Just wondering if any of you ladies work in HR / are clued up on maternity leave policies??

    Basically yesterday and through the night I had reduced fetal movements, I called the midwife this morning for advice and she said to go up to the hospital straight away as she wants to check me over. I phoned work and advised them I had to go and be checked over and that id keep them updated (which I did). Anyway long story short when I got out of the hospital I rang my headteacher (I work in a primary school) who told me OVER THE PHONE that HR had told her I was unable to return to work and that my maternity leave must start today as I've 'had the day off sick' within the last 4 weeks leading up to due date (I'm 37w).

    My understanding (and midwife's as I rang her for advise) is that it should be classed as a medical appointment (even tho it was last minute) and not sickness because I was deemed fit for work after I had been checked and was willing to return back to work.

    I have been sent a copy of the maternity/sickness policy and nowhere are the illnesses defined but I don't think reduced movements would come under sickness?

    What I'm asking is do I have a case?
    I tried ringing the HR lady today but she had left the office for the day.

    My last working day should be next Friday with maternity leave officially starting on 6th June due to half term holiday meaning I will lose out on 3 weeks valuable time on the other side.

    Any advise gratefully appreciated.
     
  2. jem8789

    jem8789 Well-Known Member

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  3. Blueclass

    Blueclass Well-Known Member

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    Hi I did message you back but we can chat here its ok
    I had reduced movements a few days ago and iv been of sick for a week as I hurt my back. My first day back is tomorrow but now I have an appointment in the morning. I called work yesterday and told them about the appointment it is last min but they was fine told me to let them know how it goes. I believe you have to start mat leave in 4 weeks if you go sick with a pregnancy related illness. Yours was not illness it was an emergency. Argue this and call your head teacher and HR department. It may be that my work is a bit better they have been brilliant qith me and iv had loads of hospital appointments and gone in late due to hospital vista with reduced movements. State you was not sick it was an emergency and you wanted to go to work but you was told not to by your employer. It seems unfair and personally I would fight for it. My mat leave starts next Fri. Let us know how you get one. Also if I'd call citizens advice if they do it allow you back.
    I'm going to go to citizens advice as technically we don't get any holiday pay as our wages r spread over the yr so I want to know if I can accrue leave whilst on leave. X
     
  4. Blueclass

    Blueclass Well-Known Member

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    Also are you a member of a union? I am a firm believer if you work in a school you really really need to be in a union to look after yourself. Iv had issues at school and my union sorted it all out since then they don't take the puss with me because they know il go to my union. If you are not a member I suggest you join one, I'm with unison. If you joined now they can not legally help you with issues for 4 weeks but you could then bring this up after that. I definitely think you should be able to work. I'd turn up at school tomorrow and sit with the head and talk it through. You didn't go sick it was an emergency it's very different. I can't believe they actually have said this. My work have been very good and supportive. Iv been lucky I guess.
    Yours seems very odd.x
     
  5. Tigger87

    Tigger87 Well-Known Member

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    I think you've got a good case to argue. This wasn't sick leave, this was a maternity appointment. I'd show up to work as normal tomorrow (today?) and tell them this!! I get the impression some schools can really try it on!!!

    Blueclass - with regard to holiday in a school, you DO accrue holiday. However, your holiday year runs sept - August, so when you accrue it, and you come back, you'll likely have your 5 weeks in the "forced time off" but in August, and therefore you can't just tag it on. So, for example, (I don't work in a school), I accrue my holiday and can tag it into the end, but I then won't have any more holiday in my holiday year. Already this holiday year, you've had more than 5/6 weeks (I can't remember how many days they say for schools! Think it depends on your contract?), so you don't accrue any this year, and when you'll be back next year, will influence!
     
  6. Browneyed Girl

    Browneyed Girl Well-Known Member

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    I'm a HR advisor but I don't deal with maternity much as we have a specialist team. I do advise on sickness during pregnancy though. In my view you did not call in sick, you advised work that you had a medical appointment to get the baby (not you) checked. If a manager called me with this scenario I would advise to give special leave for the medical appointment as usual and await the outcome. If they had said you should rest at home etc then yes you would have to technically say you're not fit for work and they could start your maternity as its a pregnancy related 'illness' within 4 weeks of your due date. Like I say we have a specialist team that I would hand this to but I can't imagine they would say anything different xx


     
  7. kanga86

    kanga86 Well-Known Member

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    I thought they could only force start your maternity after 36 weeks if you were signed off sick not just off for one emergency appt. Hope you can get it sorted out xx
     
  8. lottie89

    lottie89 Well-Known Member

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    I could be wrong but I'm sure in my contract (not sure if this is a national thing) they can only make your maternity leave start if you are off for 4 consecutive days within 4 weeks of your maternity leave. Even if you had been off sick today (which this isn't, it was an appointment) they still couldn't force you to start your maternity leave
     
  9. Overthemoon2

    Overthemoon2 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks ladies. I'm contacting my HR as soon as my son sets off to school.
    I tried speaking to school yesterday but they was very obnoxious with me (don't know for what reason as I've never done anything to upset them). I have my points written down so will contact HR and see how I get on.
     
  10. Browneyed Girl

    Browneyed Girl Well-Known Member

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    This might be policy at your workplace but it's not the legal position https://www.gov.uk/working-when-pregnant-your-rights

    You need to argue it was an antenatal appointment (which it was) which they are required to give you paid time off for and it was not sickness x
     
  11. Blueclass

    Blueclass Well-Known Member

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    Yes I still can't get over this. I think you have a very good case. If you can get a print out of the what it says on line with regards to this so you can use it as their probably try using big words lol x
     
  12. Maud

    Maud Well-Known Member

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    I would also say that was a medical appointment not sickness. Had you been admitted and off work for a few days I think it would be different.
     
  13. Overthemoon2

    Overthemoon2 Well-Known Member

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    Contacted my HR, she was very lovely and understanding of my case however says that it is government policy not her policy and that emergency appointments are classed as sickness. I asked her to send me the document that states this but she couldn't because there isn't one. She says it would be impossible to define every pregnancy related sickness as everyone's pregnancy is so different.
    I'm going to contact the Maternity Action Helpline when it opens at 3 and contact my local MP for guidance as I don't think there's a way of me contacting the government to see if my absence is included under 'sickness'.
     
  14. Emmam1982

    Emmam1982 Well-Known Member

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    Definitely ring maternity action or even acas, they will give you advice even if your not part of a union.
    I've never heard of maternity starting early unless actually signed off sick and I've read a lot about maternity rights/leave/pay xx
     
  15. Overthemoon2

    Overthemoon2 Well-Known Member

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    To be honest I do think they're being awkward. I'm not giving up tho, I'll fight it right until the last book, even if I don't win x
     
  16. Browneyed Girl

    Browneyed Girl Well-Known Member

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    She is quoting 'government policy' incorrectly - in other words hiding behind it!! She's wrong, it's not sickness and even if it was and you had been off sick for a day or so it would be completely within their discretion whether they asked you to start mat leave early, there is no rule that they HAVE to start your mat leave early if you're off sick!! She is either not up to speed on the rules or she is but she's trying to pull a fast one by saying her hands are tied when they're not. There's some useful info on here around sickness and maternity leave starting: http://www.maternityaction.org.uk/a...ickness-during-pregnancy-and-maternity-leave/
     
  17. RoisinC

    RoisinC Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure but I think ACAS, the employment rights service for England and Wales might be able to advise you. Worth a try anyway. Sounds very unfair to me. Good luck xx
     
  18. Overthemoon2

    Overthemoon2 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you ladies. Trying to contact Maternity Action now but constantly engaged x
     
  19. Emmam1982

    Emmam1982 Well-Known Member

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    Try acas...they were really helpful when I needed maternity advice x
     
  20. GillM

    GillM Well-Known Member

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    In my last pregnancy I had one day off sick at 36 weeks and was forced to take my maternity leave from that point. HR called me not the school to say that I was now finished up. My headteacher was furious but her hands were tied. This time I'm 28 weeks and have been signed off for the last four weeks and now it has been extended for the next six which will take me up until the summer hols. I will only be 34 weeks so I'm a bit unsure as to how it will work as technically I would be back at school from this point until my mat leave starts so I've gone with the assumption it'll be sick leave, holiday leave then maternity - at least I hope so!!! Xx
     
    #20 GillM, May 18, 2016
    Last edited: May 18, 2016

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