Getting Pregnant <
Trying to conceive
31/08/2013 at 09:48
Hope someone knows where I stand on this...
At work, we are going through a major restructuring. Bases are closing, others are opening and in the huge movement of hundreds of staff, opportunities are opening up that aren't likely to for several more years. My current base is closing next week, and I'm being transferred (on my nice rota) to a new base 20 miles away in a vile area. I've known about it for a while so have been planning to transfer to a different area altogether (same employer). Yesterday I had a meeting with management on the potential new area, and it's looking Iike I've negotiated myself a fab position doing what I really want to do, in a nice area with a decent pay rise. Yay. Well, yay so far.
The catch is, we aren't allowed to work when pregnant. For some stupid reason, the moment we know (so before we may have told close friends and family, and certainly before 12 weeks) we are supposed to tell management, and be office based from then on. God knows why, when nurses, doctors, midwives etc can work until they feel ready to stop, paramedics can't.
So, the possible situation is that I get this new role which won't start for another couple of months, probably late November. If, in the meantime, I get pregnant and have to let them know, are they obliged to keep the position open for me, given that they will have to then find cover for approx 12 months (time taken off the road plus mat leave once baby arrives)? Even if I have already started in the role before getting pregnant, the same situation may arise - being in the role for only a month or so until having to leave, do they have to let me back?
31/08/2013 at 11:35
I'm not sure but you might be better x posting this on OT, I think theres some HR and legal bods on there x
31/08/2013 at 12:44
i think that if you hadnt started in the role then they could redeploy you iyswim but if you had started then they would have to keep the position for you but the nhs does seem to have its own rules and i know a trick they play is that in the contract you work for the nhs (in my contract when i was an a&e sister i worked for 'the trust' which technically meant i could go anywhere, so the ambulance service are likely to do the same)
i totally think that its right you are taken off the road though, you do such a manual job and can you imagine having to carry stretchers downstairs, going to entrapments at 6 months pregnant, carrying all your equipment etc, i imagine its the same for police and fire, i know a lot of our girls in ED just go on triage, first time round i carried on as normal but had to try to avoid resus as compressions really hurt (around 7/8 months though), second time i bled loads so i just ENP'd which was mainly sat down
31/08/2013 at 12:57
I'm in HR and actually used to work for the ambulance so will hopefully be able to help a little!
It's definitely right that you're taken off the road ASAP if you're pregnant - the risks on the road just isn't worth it if something were to happen, it can be frustrating but the rule is there for a good reason.
Have they confirmed your new position in writing with start date etc? If they have they should definitely honour as if they didn't simply because you were pregnant they would be at huge risk of pregnancy discrimination. I would ask then to confirm and then see what happens
Good luck, hope everything works out but give me a shout of you need any further advice xx
31/08/2013 at 15:18
Thanks Grif. Not confirmed yet, and even when it is, it's unlikely to be in writing until well after I've started. Just the way our service works. I should know in 2 weeks whether it's going ahead or not, and final details in the following month. I will ask for written confirmation anyway, just in case. As for coming off the road, I agree if I were working on an ambulance, but the whole point of this is to get away from that and work on a community paramedic car. My knees and back aren't up to lugging patients and stretchers around anymore, and I want a nice easy life! Interestingly the patient transport guys who do just as much lifting, do not go office based once pregnant, so it doesn't make sense.
01/09/2013 at 10:11
They are obliged to do a risk assessment and have obviously deemed pregnancy as a risk factor in your role. If you have started the role by the time you find out you are pregnant then they can't take that away from you and you would be entitled to go back to the same job with the same level of responsibilities and the same pay. You are afforded the same rights as if you were still at work. If you are offered the role and accept the role but fall pregnant before your official start date the same rules apply. Discrimination law starts from the moment you apply for a job. If there is a true redundancy situation whilst you are on mat leave then they have an obligation to basically give you first dibs on other available jobs. Whilst you are pregnant and on mat leave your job is protected, any changes to it or redeployment without your consent would be cause for discrimination.
Sorry it's a bit brief but it's a pretty huge area of law especially at the moment. Happy to answer any more questions you have. I'm a lawyer by the way.
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