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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

I am about to start my first cycle of IVF (downregging from Saturday) and I am getting quite stressed about taking time off from work for EC, ET and afterwards. My inclination is to have the week of EC & ET off, and possibly some days in the week after, though I should be able to work from home to some extent depending how I feel. I asked my GP (though not the one I'm actually registered with) a while ago about their support for time off and got the impression that they'd be happy to sign a sick note for me. So I've told work that I'll be undergoing a procedure and may need 1-2 weeks off.

The issue is that I categorically don't want my employers to know I am having IVF. Its a long story and I don't want to go into it here, but they were a nightmnare when I had my miscarriage last year, and my male boss is not a very sympathetic person to say the least. We do not get on that well.  Plus i don't trust him to keep the info to himself if I did tell him what's going on. When I spoke to the GP I'm actually registered with today, he gave me the impression that to supply a sicknote he'd be obliged to spell out exactly why he's writing it. He also said he's not that keen to do it as its not him that's treating me, and that the clinic could do it- but how can they do it and not mention IVF when the notepaper will have Assisted Conception unit as a heading!

I know that legally I can have up to 7 days off with no need of a sicknote from a doctor, but work makes you complete a self-certification form apparently.

What have you guys done in telling work about treatment and about taking time off? ANd were your GPs supportive?

Any feedback would be really helpful.

Thanks

fergie
 

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Hi Fergie,

I can totally understand that you don't want work to know your reasons for taking time off.  I am very lucky and have a totally supportive boss, who I can talk to, and we can even share a joke or too.  However, there are many other people at work who I don't feel need to know the ins and outs of my personal live, which they would if a sicknote came in, which they would if it had IVF stamped all over it.  For that reason I have decided to take the time off as holiday.  My ec is scheduled for Friday 8th April and I'm also taking the week off after that.  I kinda figured that 6 days leave was a small loss in the great scheme of things and it makes me feel happier.

Legally I am certain that the GP has to put the true reason on the sicknote, so I'm sorry, but I can't see a way around the system.

sorry I'm not more help.
lol
x
 

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Hi Fergie
I am a legal employment advocate, working for a charity, we take employers to tribunal and represent the employees, I am also a qualified legal executive and in my last year of my law degree so I may be able to help you here with regards to your position.
Technically you do have a duty to inform your employer, and he in return has various duties towards you not least to keep information about you confidential!
however I do undertsand your position here, we deal with bosses like yours every day of the week! :mad:
The doctors will rarely give you a medical certificate for the first 7 days of your absence if this is the case you will have to complete a self certification form for your employers, as you are not medically trained you are not expected to give yourself a diagnosis on this form and I suggest that you just put something like "currently under investigation" where it asks you what your illness is.
Your GP has a duty of care towards you and is not allowed to divulge any information about you without your authority, if you tell your GP that you wish to keep your condition and treatment confidential due to the less than understanding nature of your boss then he has to take your wishes into consideration, GP's can sometimes be reluctant to do this long term and will encourage you to speak to your employers but if you are only looking for a further week or so off work I am sure he will be understanding.
Just insist that he write something like "undergoing Investigation" this is a fairly standard thing for GP's to write and often occurs when someone is off work with stress or depression as these are very personal issues.
I am sure your GP will be understanding, if he is not there are various other ways around this as depending on how long you have worked for this employer you will have various statutory rights of leave available to you but these are often unpaid. if you have any further trouble please don't hesitate to ask me. but on a personal note this is the LAST thing you should be having to deal with at the moment, I am sure your GP will help you out, you have enough other far more important things to be concentrating on, stop worrying about your boss, if all else fails I will take your case on and we will sue the pants off him for sex discrimination and harrassment at work!!!!!! ^evil^
When you get your  ^BFP^ (which you are going to get it, I can feel it in me waters) let me know and I will tell you what your maternity rights are  ;D
Good Luck
Dydie

 

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Hi Fergie

I was lucky in that I told both my direct bosses before undergoing treatment and they have been  nothing but totally supportive of me.   :) I realise that there are lots of bosses out there who are less than supportive though. :mad:

I took my actual EC and ET days as holidays.  I had two days off sick after EC as had mild OHSS ( put on self cert form absence due to abdo pain) but luckily enough, my ET was a Monday and I felt well enough to go back to work on the Tuesday.

What I didn't bank on before starting treatment was the amount of time off before EC i would need for scans on the progress of stimming  :-\- I had to have 3 scans in one week, but it was mostly 2 scans a week for 4 weeks. ( to measure the size of the folicles, womb lining etc)  This will entirely depend on how you respond to the drugs, but I thought you should be fore warned - especially if your clinic isn't around the corner...  but I think that these are still hospital appointments, regardless of what type of treatment ( if, tonsilities etc) so you should be entitled to the time off anyway - perhaps offering to make up any missed time off would help...?

Oh, and my GP is probably the most un-surportive person I spoke to during my ttc period, but he still signed me off for other IF related issues....  although I did have to cry hysterically...! ^mercy^ ^smash^

Good luck with your treatement and hope you get a  ^BFP^soon

Love
Churchill :-*
 

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Hi Fergie,

After 6 attempts at IVF I've had this problem a few times!!  In the first few treatments I took time off as holiday but then was really p'd off when I ended up with a BFN and didn't have enough holiday for a week in the sun to chill out! 

The next few times I decided to take time off as sick and after a trip to my Dr and an explanation they did me a sick note and only wrote "Post-op convalescence" which was fine for me as I too have a very non-understanding boss who feels he can tell the world anyones problems but his own!

Good luck,

Andrea xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all so much for the replies.
I was really rather stressed this morning- and its not as if I know for sure whether I'll need that much time off anyway, and I won't know until it happens.
WHat I did do was call a senior partner at the practise today; she's a lady and has a much more supportive manner, she reassured me that she'd be happy to provide a sicknote if required (she said- 'I'm older and am prepared to do it my way, or something like that'), that did not mention IVF, so I feel much more settled about this now. She emphasised that it is not legally required until you've been off more than 7 days- as as Dydie says, we're not experts and can word things differently. I have no intention of lying, I just won't be spelling out that its IVF. I have given so much to this company over the last few years its now time to put myself first and if I need to take time off I will. I am aiming to avoid too much stress at all costs- and that's a little dificult given that I was raised with a protestant work ethic, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, thanks again for all your responses and good wishes.
Dydie- wish we had someone like you where I work.

Fergie

 
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