I had no choice but to leave my job

I feel that I was discriminated against when I was pregnant. I decided to tell my employer around the 12 week mark as I thought my job was fairly physical and dangerous and I did not want to risk harming my baby. I worked as a chef in a gourmet food shop. I was working in a hot kitchen mainly by myself, standing on my feet for 8 hours a day barely getting a break (10-15 minutes if I was lucky), 5 days a week. When I told my employer about my pregnancy I was promised extra help and I asked if it was possible to reduce my working hours. This unfortunately fell on deaf ears, I was expected to carry on as normal, I was still working in a hot kitchen on my own, lifting heavy pans, carrying hot food and dealing with orders. My employer did not even do a risk assessment which really shocked me. At the best of times, working as a chef in a kitchen holds a lot of potential hazards, I was so worried about the risk in continuing in my role as a chef in this current position. One day I felt so ill, I could barely get out of bed, I was shattered and I was struggling with pregnancy sickness so I decided to phone in sick. My husband phoned my employer to say I was sick and unable to attend work. I rarely took a sick day, I always forced myself into work even when I wasn’t feeling 100% I thought they would understand that I was genuinely feeling ill. When my husband came off the phone he was disappointed by my employer’s reaction, I was told by my employer to take a couple of hours rest and to come into work later. This comment really upset me, I had no choice but to leave my job. I felt like I wasn’t supported at all, I was working in a dangerous environment and I did not feel safe at work and I had to take holiday days for antenatal appointments. I felt like I was being an inconvenience to my workplace and I was really struggling to continuing working for someone with that attitude. That day I was off work feeling ill I decided to write my notice and I handed it in the following week. Although I did not want to finish work right then I feel that it was the best decision for the safety and health of myself and baby.

USASwedishSpainEnglish