can they do it???!!

hi there everyone, just got a quick question i hope someone can give me some advice...

i work for tesco and they have a 3% mark on absence before u have to have attendence reviews that leads to warnings......i have had about 5 days off this year 2 with my son and 1 when i have had stomach cramps in early pregnancy and 2 when i was sooooo sick i couldnt hardly walk......this means that i have had 3 attendence reviews and they have only given me next steps so far , i had to take yesterday off cos my son who is only 2 was up all night tuesnight coughing and crying and he was coughing so much yesterday he made himself sick , i know he has only got a stinking cold but i couldnt take him to nursery, now when i go back in on tues (i only work 3 days )i have a feeling that my boss who hasnt been very nice since i told her i was pregnant is going to issue me with a warning can they give me a warning when i cant help these things and im pregnant??i feel myself stressing about it now ....any advice appreciated x x x x


  • No they can't!!!

    I found this on the government's website (

    "It's unlawful sex discrimination for employers to treat women less favourably because of their pregnancy or because they take maternity leave. Such treatment includes things like:

    * trying to cut your hours without your permission
    * suddenly giving you poor staff reports
    * giving you unsuitable work
    *making you redundant because of your pregnancy (you might still be made redundant for other reasons)
    * treating days off sick due to pregnancy as a disciplinary issue

    Your employer can't change your terms and conditions of employment while you're pregnant without your agreement. If they do, they'll be in breach of contract."

    Also, providing you've worked for them for over a year, you're entitled to take up to 13 weeks off on 'parental leave' to care for your son until he's 5 (13 weeks in total, not per year), although your employer doesn't have to pay you for that time. So they shouldn't be counting that towards your absence I don't think.

    I think if they say anything, you should talk to your HR department or to a union (i think Tesco would have one).
  • ooh thanks moomin i am part of the union but i think by the time they get round to saying there going to issue me with a warning which will be wednesday i will already have stressed out about it ....i hate taking time off cos i dont like letting people down but my son ALWAYS will come first ...they will say there not giving me a warning for being ill but to let me know my absesnce level is unnaceptable i really hate it there and dont intend on going back after baby is born but i still have 10 weeks there (i havnt told them im not going back )x x
  • Hi, your absence to look after your son when he was sick should be classed as 'dependancy leave' which you can take at short notice & is unpaid but there is nothing they can do about that...and it doesn't just mean children, if you have a dependant ie mum, dad, friend etc that was sick & only you could care for them then you can have it for that too.
    'parental leave' is when you have a time coming up ie school holidays when you know you won't be able to work due to kids not being in school etc so you prebook this & it is unpaid.

    I was off sick recently with a really bad cold but as I'm pregnant they decided that they wouldn't put it down as a disciplinary as I couldn't take medication that I would normally take if I wasn't pregnant - mind you I couldn't have cared less as I won't be returning to my job!

    There is one girl at my work who has had her maternity leave enforced as she was off sick every week so they made her leave sooner.

    Definitely look at the Gov website.

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