To think that this 'advice' column in today's Guardian is bang out of order?

(414 Posts)
Aliama Sat 01-Feb-14 19:37:37

I'm fuming at this and wondering if I'm overreacting?

www.theguardian.com/money/2014/feb/01/dear-jeremy-work-issues-solved

Excuse me? Did I misread that? In what fucking world is it 'reprehensible' for a woman to fail to tell a prospective employer that she's planning on getting pregnant at an interview? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it fucking illegal for a company to allow something like that to sway their decision anyway, even if said woman is already pregnant?

Ugh.

caroldecker Sat 01-Feb-14 19:41:55

Yes totally illegal for a company to ask, totally legal not to tell - however it is arguably morally reprehensible to accept a job you have no intention of doing as you will be off

Hobbes8 Sat 01-Feb-14 19:46:03

You're not overreacting at all. His reply basically was to pat her on the head and tell her to stay put in her unfulfilling job until she gets knocked up. Outrageous!

DonnaDishwater Sat 01-Feb-14 19:52:15

Not illegal but it is not in the spirit that maternity laws were intended in, and it reflects badly on women who apply for jobs with no intention of having children who that have already had their children. I don't think there is a way around it unfortunately, all legislation has people that will exploit it every which way they can.

Catsize Sat 01-Feb-14 19:52:45

YANBU. Would he deem it reprehensible for a man? One who might share the maternity leave etc.? Wouldn't even enter his head that a man might want to do that of course.

Dromedary Sat 01-Feb-14 19:57:41

He often advises women to talk about possible pregnancy / pregnancy at a job interview. Very into the spirit of greater openness, and no doubt the employer will respect that, etc etc. I think he's being unrealistic.

expatinscotland Sat 01-Feb-14 20:00:30

I agree with Donna. Sorry, but I wouldn't do this, I really wouldn't, because I have been on the receiving end of discrimination due to others using the system like this. Sure, it's legal, though. Personally, I think the 1-year mat leaves have a lot to answer for. They put fear into a lot of employers, with good reason, I have worked with several who took a year and came back pregnant. Legal, have to plan for it, etc etc, but it was a major PITA.

Ridiculous. Announcing your 'intention' to have a child?!

So she should stay put and potentially miss years of growth & personal fulfilment in the meantime? What if her relationship breaks up or they have fertility issues?

Or maybe she loves her new job so much she decides to hold off for a while?

OR even.... what if she's the right person for the job and makes her employer a shitload of money by being brilliant in the 10 months before ML?!

What a myopic arse Jeremy is. angry

Aliama Sat 01-Feb-14 20:02:27

donna, it IS illegal,since it comes under sexual discrimination laws.

www.equalityhumanrights.com/advice-and-guidance/guidance-for-workers/recruitment/your-rights-if-you-are-pregnant-or-on-maternity-leave/

I think part of the reason this makes me so angry is how prevalent this attitude is amongst employers.

It's terrible that this can be printed. Would expect better of the Guardian.

I seem to remember this chap has given similarly idiotic advice before. He seems very anti-potentially-childbearing-women-in-the-workplace.

rockybalboa Sat 01-Feb-14 20:11:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rockybalboa Sat 01-Feb-14 20:13:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Having worked corporate hr never state your intentions. It would eventually when suitable to the firm be used against you. Like any personal information can be.

Remain an enigma. It will serve you longest best. Very sadly.

CrispyFB Sat 01-Feb-14 20:18:50

Good grief!! What if it takes her several years to conceive? Not every woman gets pregnant at the drop of a hat. And even if she did, WHO CARES? This is what equality is about.. and who is to say the father won't take some of the leave too? If it's her first it's very likely she'd return to a job if she loved it, whilst the childcare costs are still manageable.

I can't believe a paper like the Guardian (not that I have a lot of respect for it anyway, but still) is advocating something like that. Clearly he does not live in the real world, of losses, infertility, employers making up non-childbearing-related excuses etc..

FudgefaceMcZ Sat 01-Feb-14 20:22:54

Maybe if jobs stopped all being 3 year contracts, and actually went back to being permanent, then women wouldn't have to time getting pregnant to be within 'contract' i.e. fairly soon after starting a job, and could actually use maternity leave as intended after being in post for several years and employers could quit fucking whining about losing time when it's really insignificant over the lifespan of a permanent employee. Oh wait we can't ask anything of them but they can treat us like shite and if we don't announce our reproductive status it's 'reprehensible'. Viva misogyny.

Lillilly Sat 01-Feb-14 20:23:18

Yanbu 40% of pregnancies are unplanned, 1 in 5 ends in miscarriage 10% take more than 3 years to conceive.
Why tell anyone your hopes....

There there.. Geez what a bunch of over reaction.. Try this on..
A "Oh you want me to hire you?"
B Yes I'd love that.. but..
A But what?
B Hire me then I'm busy for a year so I can't really work for you but I want to get paid anyway.
A I'm sorry?
B It's the law
A I'm going bankrupt
B It's the law

DonnaDishwater Sat 01-Feb-14 20:28:51

I do wonder how many people who go on about stuff like this have actually run a business and seen what it is like from the other side. I haven't btw, but I know people that do or have.

plutarch14 Sat 01-Feb-14 20:30:53

Who cares what 'Jeremy' thinks? He's a journalist. I concur that he may know what he's talking about when it comes to journalism but I do not feel his opinions have any relevance to my career or life.

sazzle82 Sat 01-Feb-14 20:31:09

arealman a few errors there, you don't get paid for a year. Statutory mat pay is 39 weeks, the remaining 13 weeks are without money. Additionally 92% of the £136 per week is paid the government. If an employer is going to go bankrupt over the remaining 8% they have bigger problems than people on mat leave.

If society was more equal, and it was more accepted for either parent to take the leave then I doubt this would ever come up as an issue as it would just be accepted that people may take time off when a child is born.

Dromedary Sat 01-Feb-14 20:31:50

The employer gets maternity pay (or very nearly all of it) paid back by the government though.

PansOnFire Sat 01-Feb-14 20:45:58

I don't understand why there is so much overreaction to this advice - I know he has dared to point out that sometimes it's best to stick to one thing at a time when it comes to having babies and having a career, but in reality this is common sense. She points out that she is bored in her job but that the maternity benefit was generous - I don't understand why anyone would start a new job with new priorities and challenges and have a baby at the same time. It might be different if a once in a lifetime employment opportunity had come up and she was actually pregnant, in that case I'd think she should absolutely move to the new job, there is no reason why having a child should hold you back in your career. However, actively looking for new employment whilst actively trying for a baby is not wise. Returning to work after a baby is hard enough without knowing people properly or having to learn a new role. Surely she can stand being bored in her job for a few months whilst she makes her baby the priority? When she returns to her job then she'll not feel as pressured. She could even look for prospective employers whilst on maternity leave, then contact them once she a back at work.

Secondly, it's a very unfair thing to do to any company, but especially to smaller companies in this climate. A new employee is there to be relied on and should be as honest as possible, it's not always about paying maternity pay. Having the intention of trying for a baby is slightly different though, the writer is being very dramatic and over thinking things.

newyearhere Sat 01-Feb-14 21:01:01

> The employer gets maternity pay (or very nearly all of it) paid back by the government though.

Very true Dromedary.

TeacupDrama Sat 01-Feb-14 21:02:42

yes your SMP will not be affected by new job but some companies that offer more than the legal minimum ( such as company OP is currently with) often have clauses that the more generous MP has to be paid back if you do not return for a certain minimum period and sometimes the enhanced package is only available after 2 years

NHS dentistry ( where dentists is self employed which is most dentists) only gives enhanced package after 2 years and you have to go back for at least 3 months

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