Morning Sickness & Work

Morning Sickness & Work

Any mother or mother-to-be will know that “the juggle” between work and parenting starts well before the 9 month mark.

For many women in the traditional workforce, the anxiety and guilt levels start to rise with the first doctor’s appointment.  Juggling appointments with GPS, obstetricians, blood tests, physio and chiropractic, ante-natal, ultrasounds.  And that is without complications during the pregnancy.

For some women, getting to these appointments outside of work hours is practically impossible and sometimes you simply can’t work the hours you used to before falling pregnant.  But what are your rights as a working pregnant woman?  In most cases, a woman is entitled to take sick leave for morning sickness and medical appointments.  But what happens when your boss takes a different view?

Earlier this year, a pregnant Telstra employee took her employer to court and won after she was was humiliated and abused by her boss when she needed time off for sickness during her pregnancy.    The case has sparked talk of changes to laws to make it easier for pregnant women to seek changes to their hours and working conditions.

Workplace lawyer, Megan Heywood, said that “This is an area that many women are reluctant to ask their employer about.  It is for this reason that we offer free initial consultations to women who feel they are at a disadvantage in the workforce due to pregnancy and want to know where they stand legally.”