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I'm a first-time mum to a 15-month-old girl and am currently working part time two full days a week (9-4.30). My husband works shifts so he’s not very often home. My issue is the childcare for my daughter. It is becoming increasingly difficult and unreliable which is stressing me out every week. At the moment my husband’s aunt and nan shares childcare every Monday over my daughter, but times always vary according to my husband’s hours. Tuesdays is usually my mum, but she has a lot on her plate at the moment which means she can't do most Tuesdays. I've been told by my husband’s aunt and nan that the irregularity of hours on Monday is unsettling for my daughter which is stressing me out and I don't know how to stabilise this. I can't afford professional childcare, my current job is stressful and often keeps me running ragged all day, I rarely leave on time. I would love to find a job working from home, but feel I don't have the necessary skills (or I do but my confidence is at an all -time low) and I am profoundly deaf which restricts what I can do. I'm at my wits end. View full answer >

Answered by: Linda Whittern

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I am currently 21 weeks pregnant. I have been at my current job for three months as a dental nurse/receptionist. I told them I was pregnant a couple of weeks ago and was asked "if I'm keeping it?" To which I asked if my job was safe and was told "I'm not sure you are on probation, but we might have to keep you on" which I knew to be inappropriate. I am a dental nurse re-registering with the GDC and whilst getting my information together I was contacted by Occupational Health. I phoned them and was informed I'm a non-respondent to the Hep b innoculation and that I should not work in surgery due to it being unsafe even though I shouldn't work in surgery until my GDC registration comes back anyway. I was called into the office a few days later and told I was a "surplus requirement" and that my job wasn't safe as I could not work in surgery and that they do not need two people on reception even though they arrange cover for me when I'm off work and always make sure there are two people on reception and told me a few days after this meeting that two people need to run reception. Where do I stand? 

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Answered by: Rebecca Harmer

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I work for a Local Authority - 0.6 as one manager and 0.4 as another.  I am nearly 30 weeks pregnant and will be leaving to go on maternity leave soon.  I found out this week that there is going to be a review of my directorate and all recruitment has been frozen, including maternity cover.  This obviously makes me feel very vulnerable, even though I have been reassured that this is simply a cost saving exercise and not specific to my posts - it does not mean they are going to be redundant. I have today been told that I will be having a meeting with my jobshare, my manager and HR next week where they will start a review of our service and discuss cost saving opportunities.  I have been told that there may be some changes, but that they want to avoid redundancies so it's about reviewing what is required in order for us to deliver on our duties. This will just be a discussion and a starting point of a review.  I am obviously extremely anxious for the future and would like some advice on the following: What are my rights now and once I am on maternity leave in terms of consultation and redundancy.  I plan to return to work full-time in 6 months as I am the main breadwinner? I am very concerned that any changes between now and when I leave will have a potential impact on my maternity pay.  Maternity leave will be a struggle as I stand so if my salary changes between now and then, I am seriously concerned for my health and wellbeing due to the fact that I will have to return far sooner. What are my rights in terms of my maternity pay? Can this change between now and the start of November? If any potential consultation starts within the next few weeks, where do I stand with my salary and therefore my maternity pay? My anxiety is extremely high and I would be extremely grateful for advice on these matters.

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Answered by: Alan Lewis

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