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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46170
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Im enquiring on behalf of my fiance, she recently found

Customer Question

Hi, im enquiring on behalf of my fiance, she recently found out she is pregnant, she is currently 9 weeks gone, she informed her employer about 4 weeks ago as soon as she found out, (she works in a care home) she works 3 x 12 hour night shifts per week, last week she went to see her doctor as she has been suffering from sickness and backache and sleeping problems, her gp told her to ask her employer to be taken off nights, she also informed her that her employer needs to carry out a risk assesment, debbie (my fiance) gave the letter to her manager, her manager then called her in to work to carry out the risk assesment 3 days ago, she has put her on days doing laundry, lugging bags and pushing trollies about, she has also changer her shifts to 4-5 per week and more hours too according to her rota, she went in yesterday and explained to her boss that she is struggling to carry out the laundry job and her boss told her 'there are no easy jobs here, your better off going back on nights' she also said we will not pay maternity suspension and if she doesnt like it then she has a decision to make, which i can only presume means she should leave. she has just come home from work again today and she has been speaking to the other lady who does laundry and she told debbie that 3 other pregnant women that were put on laundry all suffered misscariages, my fiance is crying her eyes out and really stressed, she has been in contact with acas and she has done everything by the book but it seems clear that her boss is trying to make life hard for her so she leaves, she has been working there for 4 months now and she cant afford to leave. I feel she is being discriminated against by her boss and i think it maybe because in january debbie recieved complaints from other employees that she wasnt responding to call bells, she was told by her manager to ask all the staff how she is doing at work and she was told to ask staff is she is lazy, now debbie has a hearing disability, she wears 2 hearing aids and coudlnt hear the bells, debbie called acas who told her to put it in writting that she needs some kind of deaf aid put in place and to give her employer 14 days to do this, this has still not been done nearly 2 months later, debbie asked her boss about it and her boss said it wont be done as its too expensive. debbie doesnt need this kind of stress in her condition, could you please give advice as to where she stands, she cant afford to leave work as we need the money and her boss has told her shes not getting paid if she deosnt come to work, her boss is also apparantly aware that the other ladies had misscariages doing the laundry so why on earth would she put her on that job?
Many thanks, Russell.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would it be advisable to put a letter of grievance in to her head office (they own a number of care homes) stating that her manager is trying to bully her?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long has she worked there for? lease note I am only picking up questions this eve, I may not be able to repsond fully as I am mobile so it may not be a full response until the morning, many thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thats fine, she has worked there since december last year, before sh found out she was pregnant.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
she has also just told me that other staff members have asked why she has been put on laundry as its one of the hardest jobs there
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Employers are under a duty to protect the health and safety of their employees in general, with special duties that apply in respect of pregnant employees. In summary, the law requires employers:· To assess the workplace risks· To alter the employee's working conditions or hours of work to avoid any significant risk· Where it is not reasonable to alter working conditions or hours, or would not avoid the risk, to offer suitable alternative work on terms that are not "substantially less favourable"· Where suitable alternative work is not available, or the employee reasonably refuses it, to suspend the employee on full pay It is clear that the work offered to her is not suitable and in fact may make things worse for her so she has the right to refuse that. If all they can offer her is nights or laundry work, then they will have to look at suspending her on full pay. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps she can follow now to challenge the employer if they do not follow the above requirements, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46170
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you, ***** ***** advice on what she can say to her employer would be much appreciated, she is due to go into work again tomorrow and monday, she tells me that monday she has been told she will have no help and will have to work on her own all day, she really doesnt feel upto going in tomorrow or monday, she doesnt even have time to sit down and she is only allowed 2 x 15 minute breaks on a nine and a half hour shift, if she refuses to go in tomorrow the trouble is she gets no sick pay
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hi there, Health and safety law is normally enforced by the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities. However, there are a number of different employment tribunal claims a woman can make in order to enforce her rights under health and safety legislation. First of all she should try and deal with this through a formal internal grievance. Her legal options would become available if the employer fails to offer her suitable alternative work before suspending her. She would then have a claim under section 70(4) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 for just and equitable compensation. If an employer fails to pay a pregnant employee while she is suspended, the employee can bring a claim under section 70(1) of the ERA 1996. However, she will not be entitled to payment if she has been offered suitable alternative work and has unreasonably refused to perform it. If an employer fails to carry out the risk assessment required by law this may constitute unlawful pregnancy and maternity discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. A new feature in the employment tribunal’s claims process is mandatory early conciliation with ACAS. This requires prospective claimants to notify ACAS and provide details of their intended claim and they would then try to negotiate between the claimant and respondent to seek out of court settlement in order to avoid having to take the claim to the tribunal. It is possible for the parties to refuse to engage in these negotiations, or that they are unsuccessful, in which case they would get permission to proceed with making the claim in the tribunal. If negotiations are initiated and settlement is reached, then the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement. The conciliation procedure and the form to fill in can be found here: https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage In terms of the time limits within which a claim must be presented, the early conciliation process places a ‘stop’ on that and the time between notifying ACAS and them issuing permission to proceed with the claim would not count for the purposes of these time limits.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for the reply, my girlfriend has just been signed off for 1 week by her gp due to lower back pain, the gp said it may be a pregnancy related syndrome which may need physio, but shes only had it since she was put in laundry, acas said because she is signed of sick her employer deosnt have to put her on maternity suspension and bassically acas said they wont do anything, even my girlfriend told them that her employer has told her there are no suitably alternative jobs there
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
If she is signed off sick then there is no need fr suspension because she is not in work anyway - the suspension is to remove someone from work if they are at risk. However, once she returns from sick leave she can push for the suspension. If they will not do it then she does have to consider how to take matters further. The grievance option is the first one but after that she can start the formal ACAS process for a discrimination claim

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