‘I’m pregnant but my boss still wants me to work on the coronavirus frontline’ – Telegraph.co.uk

Sophie* works in healthcare and is pregnant, which put her in the Government's high risk category,but her employer is refusing acknowledge this orbe flexible. Here, she tells her story.

I am work in mental health services, and a currentlyin the first trimester of a long-awaited pregnancy. Before Covid-19, my life was good, I enjoyed my job and worked hard. In fact, the only stress was trying to getpregnant,so when it did finally happen we were thrilled.

Then the virus hit, and wepregnant women were placed in the high risk and clinically vulnerable group by the Government. Things changed very quickly for me,andmy unborn babys safety very quickly became my priority.

My job requires a great deal of face-to-face time with patients, so after some discussion my employer carried out a risk assessment. They stated that, due to the importance of my role, they expected meto carry on as normal. But I know that myrole is not currently safe, let alone for apregnant woman - they cannot guarantee social distancing and theres little PPE available.

I have spent the past eight weeks at home because my employer wouldnt support me to make my job safe. They wont offer me an alternative, such as fewer patient hours, or more hours working from home. Ive been negotiating with them about how I can return to work safely, but as I write the situation remains unchanged. I am running out of options because I am just not willing to take the risk.

Mentally, this has had a hugely negative effect on me, combined with pregnancy hormones. Some days I cry non-stop with worry. I know that the stress isnt good for me or my unborn baby;this should be such a happy time. Instead the situation has put a total dampener on my pregnancy. Something I've wanted for so long.

Part of the stress isfinancial:my husband is self-employed and has lost his work. During the weeks that Ive been off, Ive not earned full pay. It makes me concerned for the future - are they trying to push me out? If I do go back, how will they treat me? What about my maternity pay? And what about my job when I return from maternity leave? These are the questions playing on my mind constantly.

What I cant understand is why they havent been more supportive or why they don't care about my mental health.Ive given them all of the evidence from Pregnant Then Screwed and other sources that explains why pregnant women need to be protected, but theyve just ignored it. Theyve also ignored advice from my GP. I have worked for the company for years andam shocked in the way I have been treated.

I feel discriminated against because I am pregnant and therefore not able to return to work. But I want to - just in a way that's safe for me and my unborn baby. Im unsure what will happen next, or how will we pay the bills. Im running out of options and I dont know which way to turn.

*Names have been changed

Read the rest here:
'I'm pregnant but my boss still wants me to work on the coronavirus frontline' - Telegraph.co.uk

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