Whether or not you continue to work will depend upon the severity of your PGP and the nature of your job. Some women find that they can adapt their working environment to cope with their PGP symptoms, others find that they need to stop work altogether. If you are pregnant, you are entitled to certain rights, such as paid time off for antenatal appointments (this includes physiotherapy).
You may find some of these suggestions helpful:
- Inform your employers and colleagues about your PGP. If you make them aware of your situation and give them information about PGP they are more likely to be supportive. Direct them to information about PGP on our website (e.g. our 'Employers leaflet', What is PGP?, Symptoms of PGP etc) or print this information off our website and give it to your employer.
- Talk to your manager or supervisor to see if you can modify your working practices; for example, temporarily changing your role, reducing your working hours and/or incorporating more frequent breaks into your working day so you can move around and ease your pain.
- Speak to your employer about having a risk assessment of your workplace. You may require adjustments to your work environment, e.g. supportive seating to help you to manage your symptoms better.
- If you feel you are physically unable to continue at work, book an appointment with your GP or Midwife to arrange to be medically signed off work.
We have produced an information sheet for employers providing information about what PGP is and how employers can support and enable you to manage your condition at work. You may find it helpful to print this and give it to your employer: 'PGP in the workplace: Information for employers' leaflet.
Working with long-term PGP
Continuing to work with the symptoms of long-term PGP can be extremely challenging, and pushing yourself to manage in your role can contribute to the physical and emotional symptoms you may be experiencing.
If you are experiencing long-term PGP, it is never too late to receive effective manual therapy treatment for the condition (please see information about treating PGP on our Treatment page. If you have been unable to find an experienced manual therapist, please visit our Recommended Practitioners page or contact us for more information.
In addition to the suggestions listed above, you may find it helpful to discuss a phased return to work with your employer following your maternity leave, to enable you to seek the correct treatment and allow you time to rest your pelvis and manage your work and family life between treatments.
- There may be benevolent funds or other welfare support available to you directly or via your partner’s employer.
- If you have had PGP for more than three months and expect it to last another nine months, you may be entitled to Personal Independence Payment (PIP). See www.gov.uk/pip/eligibility for more information.
- If you are unable to work at all and are no longer receiving statutory maternity or sick pay, you may be entitled to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).You can claim for this benefit alongside PIP. See www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance/eligibility.
- Please visit the ‘Working Families’ website for more information about maternity rights related to work and benefits you may be entitled to.
It is illegal to be discriminated against or made redundant because you are pregnant, but the legislation in this area is complex. If you feel that you are not receiving the right support from your employer, you can seek expert advice from your work trade union, a local Citizens Advice Bureau or Working Families.