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  1. #1
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    Default Anyone in HR that can help? So confused!

    Hello,

    I am 22 weeks pregnant, and having a b**** of a time with my large employer.
    They have changed my role since finding out I am pregnant, and called it 'safe duties', nothing about my job before was unsafe. They have changed my hours, so I am now working 6 days a week instead of on/off roster.

    Tried arguing it, have union involved, but have been advised it is going to take some negotiating which equals time.

    My questions are:
    Can I resign (giving 8 weeks notice) while on maternity leave (paid), and still get the entirety of the 12 weeks Maternity leave?

    Will I still qualify for PPL if I plan on resigning? If so, what do I tick on the online form? (I know it's not available to do until 28 weeks) I don't plan on staying unemployed, or going on benefits, just not returning to this employer.

    Just some info if it helps. Maternity leave at my employer does not commence until they have the childs official state birth certificate in their hand. We are forced to go on leave at 34 weeks, however, and if you have annual leave, you can use it then. I won't have annual leave, as my leave block has already passed for this year.


    Thank you so much in advance. When I have tried to talk to my HR about this, all of them advise that they need to refer to my section manager. And I think he just makes it up as he goes along. Reading my EBA is really confusing, and so many clauses in there, that it reads in another language.

  2. #2
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    I have no idea what you do or which EBA you are under but give your union some time to haggle for you. Can the union email you your EBA and any related work policies etc? Important to have that stuff on hand. Google anything that you don't understand, speak to your workplace union reps too as they should be able to help you decipher it.

    'Safe' work is so open to interpretation, you could get moved or have rosters changed for any wild reason even exposure to the public (sickness risk), pregnancy trip hazards, fatigue management etc.

    If you are leaning towards resigning, do it at the absolute end of your mat leave so that you have time to think, ensure you get all of your mat leave and save yourself from getting stressed out. Once you resign or put in notice I doubt you will be able to tack on leave after that. Expend all your leave first. Even if its mat leave then sick leave. This will buy you more time to secure another job. You and bubs are more important.

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  4. #3
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    Thanks for that help I have a copy of the EBA, it's just not making sense, and they are currently in dispute for a new EBA, so was trying to hold off to see what that said.

    Knowing that safe duties is open to interpretation helps a bit. I just felt so angry at the time, I've worked so hard, and these new hours are awful as I don't see my family as much etc.

    Guess I need to the let the union do their thing, and hold out the 11.5 weeks until leave when I can have a good hard think about it all.


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    Yeah it is a rough situation to have to haggle now, mat leave and conditions should be easy as they have such potential to cause stress and anxiety for the employee. Let the union do all the tough work, you don't need that drama.

    I'm not in HR but I've gone in to bat for plenty of colleagues. The biggest hit with modified/safe duties seems to be the actual change of duties stuff. It can feel like an insult but it isn't a swipe at your capability, its a means to keep you safe and help you wind down/hand over before leave.

    Your EBA or work policies might have something in them about the modified duties not being below your skill level (menial work). If not, use that extra head space as a time to get all your baby planning done!!

    With family balance, could you do any work from home? Could your boss assign you some work that can be done at home? If they have been willing to move you then they might be open to a day or so a week at home. Worth asking!

  6. #5
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    sounds to me like they are trying to screw you over in order to get you to resign.


    Talk to the union. Even to get them to help you understand the EBA

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    I would contact Fair Work.
    Fair Work says that if you want to continue working past 34 weeks, your employer can ask for a medical certificate stating you are fit to work. If you do not provide a certificate, your employer can insist you start unpaid maternity leave. But if you do provide a certificate, you can continue working.
    What do your workplace policies say in relation to pregnancy?
    I would also speak to Fair Work about the potential for discrimination to exist in this case. I hate calling "discrimination" for everything but in this case, your hours have been changed and it's having a detrimental effect on you. Your workplace is stating it's to provide you with safe duties, but has a medical practitioner actually determined your normal duties to be unsafe?

    Fair Work is the first place I would go.

  8. #7
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    Thanks guys. I am off to see the GP tomorrow to get a written letter about what I can and can't do at work. My original role did not have anything I would deem as unsafe, but I guess they could use fatigue maybe?

    I can't do my role at home, it is physically impossible. So I am caught between a rock and a hard place. I wouldn't get a medical certificate past 34 weeks, and if I did, my work would question it, given that I have had HG, and gestational sinus tachycardia during this pregnancy. HG is finally leaving me in peace, but the sinus tachy, comes and goes when it pleases, mainly due to postural hypotension.

    There was no procedure as to what happens when you're placed on safe duties within my department, but there is in the main section of what my employer specialises in. They have been honest and said that I am the guinea pig for working out the best protocol, but then don't seem to want to negotiate or talk out any of their choices.

    I am just flustered at the moment. I thought I have been a good employee, and now I feel like I am being kicked in the stomach


 

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