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When to Tell a Company You Are Pregnant.

“Before we continue the interview, you should know that I am pregnant.”


Well, we all know that this will get one of three reactions:

  1. “Ok… this interview is over.”

  2. “Ok… great… ermmm… congratulations(?). We’ll be in touch.” (never to be heard from again)

  3. “Congratulations! Thanks for letting us know and please don’t worry about it - we are looking for the right person who will be with us for the next 5-10 years.”


There is a lot of contradictory advice out there about what you should do, about when (and indeed, if) you should tell the company you are pregnant.


So we thought we’d throw our 2 cents into the mix, based on our experience of supporting people looking for work whilst pregnant.


What you need to know:


pregnant lady in yellow top and bronze jacket, with hands held over baby bump to form love heart

Being pregnant in the UK is known as a ‘protected characteristic’, which means organisations are not allowed to discriminate against anyone who is pregnant.


The reality of it is, is that unless someone foolishly says to you “we’re not hiring you because you’re pregnant”, there isn’t an awful lot you can do about it. You will typically be rejected on the basis that you’re the wrong “cultural fit” or they found someone with “more relevant experience”.


If you are worried about being discriminated against, keep a record of every interaction between you and the organisation, which will act as evidence should you wish to take action against any discrimination you may have experienced.


You should also know you need to “have worked for your employer continuously for at least 26 weeks continuing into the ‘qualifying week’ - the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth”.


In other words, for at least 41 weeks before the due date. So if you join the organisation whilst you are pregnant, it is likely you will not be eligible for Maternity Pay. However, you might be eligible for Maternity Allowance, and you read more about that here - https://www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance


When should I tell them I’m pregnant?


Legally speaking, you are not required to tell the organisation you are interviewing with, or working for, until 28 days before the due date. So, in theory, you can interview and start work with a business and not inform them until 4 weeks before your baby is due.


But you can probably see how that might cause a few problems.


There are quite a few places out there that advise not telling the organisation you are pregnant until you have been offered the job or have signed the contract.


baby girl with black hair and big dark brown eyes hiding under white towel

Whilst this means the organisation cannot withdraw the offer without some form of legal challenge, in our experience this almost always starts the working relationship off on the wrong foot.


And, to put it bluntly, you don’t want a pissed off company when you’re trying to organise KIT days, a phased return or flexible work upon your return.


So where does this leave you?


If you tell the organisation too late, you’ll piss them off. If you tell them during the interview, you risk them rejecting you straight away.


AND THAT'S FINE!!


Based on our experience, you should share that you are pregnant during the interview as the right company will say “Congratulations! Thanks for letting us know and please don’t worry about it - we are looking for the right person who will be with us for the next 5-10 years.”


The wrong company will run for the hills, but you wouldn’t want to work for a company that sees your pregnancy as a problem anyway, would you? And if they lack the understanding and forward thinking approach at this stage, are they really going to help once you are a Mum?


Unlikely!


So use the incredible news that you are pregnant as a test for each company you interview with, and sooner or later you will find the right company for you.


Remember, we are here to help. So if you are struggling with this, or any other part of your job search, please reach out to your Tribe coach or drop us a line using the Live Chat.


adult and child hands on computer keyboard

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