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14 wks pregnant and going for a job interview

(211 Posts)
aichi Sun 15-Sep-13 12:05:04

I'm 14 wks pregnant and I've been looking for a job for awhile.
I didnt know I was pregnant when I applied for the job - back in June. (They took ages to shortlist for the interview!)

Its the job that I'd like to do and its part time which would suit me. They're looking for a few different posts, permanent and temporary positions. Ideally I would like a permanent post so I can come back to the post after I have the baby.

Am I being unreasonable to go for a job interview at this stage of my pregnancy? I started to show my bump (well for me it looks big already...my second baby) and worried how to cover my bump at the interview...
I also feel sad to feel that I have to hide my bump when I should be happy with my pregnancy..

DoJo Sun 15-Sep-13 12:21:00

YANBU - if you need a job then you have to find one. What are your other options?

TidyDancer Sun 15-Sep-13 12:22:10

You will probably get conflicting responses on this.

I'm a bit of a fence sitter tbh. Legally I believe you're sound going for the job. It totally depends how impacting your maternity leave would be on the company though.

I don't see why you shouldn't interview though.

HopeS01 Sun 15-Sep-13 12:23:38

Go for it smile I started a new job when I was 12 weeks pregnant and don't regret it at all (aside from losing the great maternity package I had with my old employer)
Think about the future, OP smile

TheVermiciousKnid Sun 15-Sep-13 12:24:27

Go for it. Women should not be discriminated against becasue they are pregnant. Ask yourself what a man, whose partner is pregnant, would do in the same situation.

pizzaqueen Sun 15-Sep-13 12:24:57

I got a graduate job five months pregnant. I just wore a loose shirt under a suit jacket but I have a flabby belly anyway. Go for it but under no circumstances mention you are pregnant or already have a child.

TidyDancer Sun 15-Sep-13 12:34:39

TheVermiciousKind - that's not a fair comparison to make. It's the maternity leave aspect that would make me waver on this, not the actual pregnancy.

I'm not saying that the OP shouldn't apply (I think she should) but ML so soon after starting the job is sometimes difficult.

You wouldn't qualify for maternity pay (SMP or enhanced) but you would for Maternity Allowance, and your other maternity benefits such as protected leave, time off for appointments, etc would still apply.

How is your current job? In most cases it would be safer and financially better to stay there. If you're miserable or unemployed that's different, obviously.

Will DC2 be final DC or are you planning more? Looking for jobs when you're able to say "I'm looking forward to a new challenge now that we've completed our family" does give a clear message to employers (unfortunately).

FrigginRexManningDay Sun 15-Sep-13 12:45:43

There's no comparison with a man being discriminated for a biological function because it doesn't happen. Women are discriminated in the workplace for all sorts of 'reasons'. Go for the interview OP,your family status doesn't need to come into it.

HeadsDownThumbsUp Sun 15-Sep-13 12:46:56

TheVermiciousKind - that's not a fair comparison to make. It's the maternity leave aspect that would make me waver on this, not the actual pregnancy.

It's an entirely fair comparison to make. There's no way of disconnecting the "maternity leave aspect" from the "actual pregnancy", since she obviously wouldn't be taking maternity leave otherwise. And yes, to withdraw from the interview would be yet another example of how having a family negatively impacts on womens' careers and not mens' since a man with a pregnant partner would not pull out of the interview.

thatstoast Sun 15-Sep-13 12:48:56

You say you've been looking for a job for a while. Are you currently working? If you're out of work then you should go for the job. Even if you're currently working and you think this new job will be a better option for you then go for it. Do what's best for you.

TidyDancer Sun 15-Sep-13 12:49:57

No, it really isn't. You can't compare maternity leave with paternity leave in terms of the length of time away from work.

As I said, I do think the OP should apply for the position and I certainly don't think she should be considered any differently from any other applicant, but there is more to consider when you know you will be taking any period of extended leave, be that for maternity purposes or otherwise.

marzipanned Sun 15-Sep-13 12:51:00

Of course YANBU to go to the interview. But I would say it's U to then take the job, if offered, without letting them know.

DH just hired someone who did not let on that she was pregnant until she joined. She was hired (as she knew) for a specific project which will last two years; she now won't be there for one of the years. I realise that's a very specific example but I do think that women taking on new jobs when pregnant can, in certain circumstances, actually prejudice employers against hiring women again in future.

DoJo Sun 15-Sep-13 12:54:32

Also, be sure not to tell them if at all possible (should be easy - they can't really ask) - they can only discriminate against you if they know so it makes it easier for them not to be in a position where their decision might be coloured by the knowledge of your pregnancy.

OwlinaTree Sun 15-Sep-13 13:01:20

Oh that's really tricky! You are legally OK, AFAIK you don't have to tell your employer until about 17 weeks before you want to leave? I certainly don't think you need to say at 14 weeks unless their is a risk assessment that would need to be done. If you have no job you need to take the opportunity, especially if it's a dream job.

BUT, I'm sorry to say I think your colleages will be pretty annoyed, they will employ you and then almost immeadiately have to go through the process of readvertising to get a maternity cover, train you up then you will be leaving, with no guarantee of your return. Personally I would be uncomfortable with the lying by omission in the interview, if they ask you how you see the job developing in the next year, what are you going to say?

You should go for it, but be prepared for a not great reaction to your news. I know it's inequality in the workplace and discrimination, but unfortunately companies do the right thing legally, they can't legislatefor

OwlinaTree Sun 15-Sep-13 13:03:18

(Sorry) they can't legislate for what others will think.

It's a tough one. If you do go for it, good luck, I do hope it works out well for you.

cuillereasoupe Sun 15-Sep-13 13:05:25

Go for it. I got a new job when I was 4.5 months pregnant. If you're the best for the job now, you will be after ML too.

HopALongOn Sun 15-Sep-13 13:06:06

The wouldn't tell them. You have no obligation to do so. If they think you will be right for the role, having children should not matter. A good employer will recognise that.

Teeb Sun 15-Sep-13 13:08:31

Is that true though cuillerea?I mean, I know from friends/family and just reading these boards that obviously having a child can have a huge impact on your priorities and ambitions. I'm not saying it isn't true for some, but I don't believe it is a blanket statement that having a newborn baby doesn't change your approach to working life.

McNewPants2013 Sun 15-Sep-13 13:08:34

Go for it, even if they offer a temp position rather than a perm

TheVermiciousKnid Sun 15-Sep-13 13:12:16

How can women ever have equal opportunites in the workplace if they feel they can't apply for a job because they are pregnant?

OwlinaTree Sun 15-Sep-13 13:21:40

You can apply for a job, but you have to be prepared for the fallout. Basically you are withholding information- legally- but that's going to have an impact on how you are viewed. Every example of this is going to be different of course, so only the op really knows what her situation is.

PresidentServalan Sun 15-Sep-13 13:31:32

If you are going for the interview, be honest with them. It might actually work in your favour. Six months to a year is a long time to be away from an employers point of view - if you are the best person for the job, it gives them a chance to make arrangements for when you are off and it also shows that you are an honest person who wants the job and cares enough about it that you will work with them on this.

PresidentServalan Sun 15-Sep-13 13:33:24

And the other issue re sexism - if men were likely to take a year out, want to change their hours when they come back etc, then they would be treated the same.

It's true, alas.

You can be in the right, but that isn't much consolation when they mysteriously don't keep you at the end of your probation period.

OwlinaTree Sun 15-Sep-13 13:33:56

I would agree with president if they really want you then they will still employ you and you won't have all the uncomfortablness when you start.

teatimesthree Sun 15-Sep-13 13:34:54

Go for it, and tell them AFTER you get the job. Good luck!

hettienne Sun 15-Sep-13 13:34:57

Go for the interview, don't mention anything about your pregnancy or existing child - why should you?

If you are offered the job, let them know then.

OwlinaTree Sun 15-Sep-13 13:37:24

hettienne well others have explained why she might want to.

CoffeeTea103 Sun 15-Sep-13 13:40:28

Even though you are not obligated to, you should be honest with them. Soon you will go on maternity leave and they will need to start the whole process again, as well as train someone all over again.

HeadsDownThumbsUp Sun 15-Sep-13 13:42:02

We have these legal safeguards to stop unscrupulous employers discriminating against women and pregnant women. What's the point in having legal protection if we're going to ignore it on the offchance that employers might have a shitty attitude. Defeats the whole point of progressive legislation.

turnaroundbrighteyes Sun 15-Sep-13 13:44:33

Its a difficult one. Legally firms can't discriminate against you because you are pregnant. Larger firms or on employer who thinks you are the best candidate by a mile might be happy and take it all in their stride.

A smaller firm or one struggling in these tough economic times should still put on a brave face, but may find it makes things very difficult for them. Recruitment is expensive, training someone up costs time and money. Then at best they would need to retrain after a lengthy break and be short staffed. At worst pay expensive agency fees on top to cover your maternity leave.

teatimesthree Sun 15-Sep-13 13:46:37

Can I just point out that

1. The OP has been looking for a job for a while
2. It is a job she wants to do
3. It is part-time.

Why on EARTH would she want to sabotage her chances by telling them she is pregnant?

TheVermiciousKnid's point is spot on: "Ask yourself what a man, whose partner is pregnant, would do in the same situation."

I don't think people "get" sex discrimination in the workplace. The reason you don't have to tell prospective employers you are pregnant is precisely in order to (somewhat) level the playing field between men and women.

Part of being an employer is that you have to deal with this sort of thing (and of course there is financial support from the government to do so).

teatimesthree Sun 15-Sep-13 13:47:25

"We have these legal safeguards to stop unscrupulous employers discriminating against women and pregnant women. What's the point in having legal protection if we're going to ignore it on the offchance that employers might have a shitty attitude. Defeats the whole point of progressive legislation."
YES!

teatimesthree Sun 15-Sep-13 13:48:54

For those saying she should tell them, so that they don't have to go through the hassle of maternity cover etc.:

What do you think a single parent who finds herself pregnant and between jobs should do? Take herself off the job market until her baby is born? Or do you not think that women of child bearing age should be financially independent?

StuntGirl Sun 15-Sep-13 13:51:10

Apply for the job. If you get it you can disclose your pregnancy later.

Either we believe in equality in the workplace or we don't.

SilverApples Sun 15-Sep-13 13:51:27

By all means apply for the job, conceal your pregnancy and don't accept any questions that they couldn't and wouldn't ask of a man, including anything about your family.
However, be prepared for a possibly very negative attitude to you and your choices from the firm once they have the full picture, they have to comply with what's legal, as do your fellow workers. They cannot discriminate.
But they can make your working environment unco-operative and hostile if they resent the sequence of events.
You may need a thick skin, and to be fully aware of all your rights and possible avenues of support if they decide to micromanage you out.
I'd also recommend belonging to a union.

brainwashed Sun 15-Sep-13 13:56:47

Definitely go for the job. Years ago I would have been up front and admitted I was pregnant at that stage but not any more. I went for a job, got a verbal offer, but then a written rejection after I'd told them I was pregnant. Silly thing was it was a subsidised part time scheme specifically designed for woman having kids to keep them in the profession! Never challenged it as I wouldn't have been able to get work elsewhere if I had :-(

PresidentServalan Sun 15-Sep-13 14:02:07

But unfortunately the playing field isn't level - some employers don't employ women of child bearing age so that they can avoid this. So by increasing maternity rights etc what can happen is that ALL women of a certain age are discriminated against. The way I dealt with it when I was younger was to actually tell potential employers the truth that there was no chance that I would be having a family.

teatimesthree Sun 15-Sep-13 14:06:21

I know what you mean, PresidentServalan. IMO, the only solution is a massive increase in paternity leave so that all women and men of childbearing age are seen as a risk. (In fact men would continue to be a risk for longer than women - if that doesn't level the playing field, then I give up!)

Bearbehind Sun 15-Sep-13 14:14:17

Rightly or wrongly, I think you'd be wasting everyone's time by applying for this job unless your skills are hugely specialised.

There are more than 7 million unemployed people in this country- what employer is going to keep you on past your probation period once they find out you might be off for a year just weeks after joining.

I know it's not right or fair but it's a tough world out there at the minute.

SilverApples Sun 15-Sep-13 14:17:07

A year?
I suppose it depends how long you see ML happening for, I went back when mine were 4 months, a friend worked until two days before giving birth and went back 6 weeks after.

hettienne Sun 15-Sep-13 14:18:54

If an employer terminated your employment because you were pregnant you could take them to a tribunal for unfair dismissal - few employers would want to risk it.

SilverApples Sun 15-Sep-13 14:20:48

hettie, they are unlikely to risk it, but they can make working conditions so uncomfortable that the OP would choose to resign if they felt that way inclined.
The only way to find out is to take the risk and go for the interview.

Bearbehind Sun 15-Sep-13 14:21:18

I only said 'might be off for a year' silverapples if the OP doesn't tell them she's pregnant her prospective employer is hardly going to be looking on the bright side of when she might return when considering whether or not to terminate employment after a probationary period.

PresidentServalan Sun 15-Sep-13 14:21:22

Unfortunately all that increasing paternity leave will make sure that NOONE will be employed! Although it might increase the number of men who go round having children indiscriminately! grin

Bearbehind Sun 15-Sep-13 14:22:42

hettie obviously the employer is not going to admit it was because the employee was pregnant but they could find other reasons.

marzipanned Sun 15-Sep-13 14:22:56

tea there is financial support from the government but what about the drain on management and colleagues' resources of having to recruit, interview and train two people when one would do?

No, it's not fair, but I'm sure if a man was offered a job/interviewed and said something along the lines of "I've got a serious operation coming up which will mean I need 6 months-ish off work" he would be equally discriminated against.

PresidentServalan Sun 15-Sep-13 14:24:09

And an employer would be in an impossible situation if you weren't up to the job and they wanted to get rid of you after the probationary period. They would probably feel they couldn't do it in case you sued. Pregnant women have more rights in the workplace than anyone else. Give them the information they need to make an informed decision.

teatimesthree Sun 15-Sep-13 14:30:23

I am interested in people's answers to my question:
"What do you think a single parent who finds herself pregnant and between jobs should do? Take herself off the job market until her baby is born? Or do you not think that women of child bearing age should be financially independent?"

hugoagogo Sun 15-Sep-13 14:35:04

Of course you should go for the job, congratulations grin

marzipanned Sun 15-Sep-13 14:35:07

tea it depends on so many factors. Is there PT work available? To what level is she qualified? How long does she intend to take for maternity leave? In what type of company is she seeking work?

Whatever the answers to these, I would never say outright that someone has to take themselves off the job market, but I would say that it would be unfair for her not to let her prospective employers know her situation.

sameoldIggi Sun 15-Sep-13 14:35:50

Mumsnet scarf will cover bump.
You might work for them for the next 20 years, one year is a tiny part of this.

MmmmWhiteWine Sun 15-Sep-13 14:36:12

Be prepared for a hostile reaction from colleagues if you announce you're pregnant almost as soon as you start work. We had someone do that in an office i used to work in and it went down like a lead balloon and completely coloured how everyone viewed the colleague in question thereafter. She came in, announced she was 4 months pg, left after 4 months to go on mat leave leaving the rest of us in the shit, short staffed and stressed out.

hettienne Sun 15-Sep-13 14:41:31

Bearbehind - they'd have to be very sure they could prove that they were sacking her for reasons unrelated to pregnancy.

SilverApples Sun 15-Sep-13 14:45:34

Personally, as a supply teacher, I love maternity leave. grin

PresidentServalan Sun 15-Sep-13 14:46:28

But even if they are sacking her for legit reasons they will still fear that they will be taken to court, like I said above - pregnant women have far more rights than everyone else.

hettienne Sun 15-Sep-13 14:49:01

What do you mean by "more rights"? They have the right not to be discriminated against due to pregnancy - what extra rights are there?

PresidentServalan Sun 15-Sep-13 14:57:01

It is very difficult for employers to get rid of pregnant staff even though there are legitimate reasons - far easier to get rid of non pregnant staff. I worked with someone who was crap at their job, unreliable etc (not down to pregnancy but she took full advantage) and HR advised not to get rid of her. She was a waste of space but she even admitted to several people that they 'couldn't do anything about them, so fuck 'em'

zatyaballerina Sun 15-Sep-13 15:04:22

You should let them know you're pregnant, if you get the job they're going to be extremely pissed that you showed up only to go on maternity leave.

squeakytoy Sun 15-Sep-13 15:09:26

"Ask yourself what a man, whose partner is pregnant, would do in the same situation."

How is that relevant? The man would not be at work while pregnant or needing time off straight into a new job.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 15-Sep-13 15:26:45

There's no way I would not tell them. They may well offer it to you because you're the best person for the job.

I'm not sure when I'd tell them but assuming the job was offered I wouldn't accept,turn up on my first day and announce it iyswim?

hettienne Sun 15-Sep-13 15:35:14

That's not "extra rights" though - it just means the company has to be sure they can prove that they aren't acting in a discriminatory way. Companies being too lazy to go through proper processes doesn't mean extra rights.

ModeratelyObvious Sun 15-Sep-13 15:40:53

YANBU OP.

<weeps quietly>

HopeS01 Sun 15-Sep-13 15:43:29

Unfortunately, it's likely you'll be on 'probation' for 12 weeks after starting the job anyway. During those 12 weeks an employer can terminate your contract (with a week's notice) for pretty much any reason. Of course, they couldn't legally say it's because you're pregnant but they could say you're "unsuitable" for a number of made up reasons.
I'm really sorry to sound negative, OP, I think you should go for the job, but I'd keep the pregnancy to yourself for as long as possible. It's an unfair world we live in sad

StuntGirl Sun 15-Sep-13 15:45:23

This thread depresses the fucking hell out of me.

I think you have to have been employed for two years before you can claim constructive dismissal.

And probation periods are getting longer, precisely to make it easier for employers to get rid of new people if the face don't fit or if the company's finances change. They can just say that it isn't working out and it would be incredibly difficult to prove sex discrimination.

hettienne Sun 15-Sep-13 15:52:06

You can claim unfair dismissal on the grounds of discrimination however long you have been employed. They'd have to prove that they weren't discriminating.

TheVermiciousKnid Sun 15-Sep-13 16:01:18

^"Ask yourself what a man, whose partner is pregnant, would do in the same situation."

How is that relevant? The man would not be at work^

It is very relevant! If women are treated differently because they are pregnant (e.g. not offered a job or dismissed from a job because they are pregnant) this is sex discrimination - it does not apply to men who are 'expecting' a baby (i.e. whose partners are pregnant), it is something that only applies to women. The legal protection is there to stop this discrimination and women have a right not to disclose their pregnancy (up to a certain gestation) or their future reproductive plans.

The comparison to a man who develops a serious health problem is not relevant - this could apply to both men and women and is therefore not sex discrimination.

I agree with Stuntgirl, this thread is fucking depressing.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 15-Sep-13 16:08:26

It doesn't matter how much legislation there is re offering jobs.

Prospective employers can employ whomever they like and it's very difficult they didn't employ a woman purely because she is likely to have children/pregnant/has children.

For small companies it's a very real issue financially speaking.

In my experience small companies really struggle to follow any kind of legislation (terrible company, I look forward to the day the owner has to declare insolvency).

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 15-Sep-13 16:08:48

*difficult to prove

teatimesthree Sun 15-Sep-13 16:22:09

I am really struck by the wilful misunderstanding of sex discrimination on this thread. Nobody except for marzipanned has tried to answer my question about a pregnant single woman - or indeed a pregnant female breadwinner. Do you all think women's wages are just pin money?

No wonder women earn less than men.

FrigginRexManningDay Sun 15-Sep-13 16:25:21

No of course not.

OwlinaTree Sun 15-Sep-13 16:30:28

I think you need to be honest in this world. I would not be impressed if someone started a permanent position at work when actually their intention was to be leaving in a few months.

If they had been honest about this, and employer knew their intention was to be leaving in a few months, then it is different, as you would know what their intention was. Even if you are planning to return to work after 3 months of mat leave, you don't know whether you will change your mind or circumstances might change, so you can't really guarantee it.

As for the single mothers question, it is not a case of not applying for jobs, it's still a case of honesty.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 15-Sep-13 16:31:34

tea

I missed your question, what was it?

hettienne Sun 15-Sep-13 16:33:04

Owlina - if you're honest about pregnancy in an interview you are unlikely to get the job though. If employers wouldn't discriminate then why would they need to know?

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 15-Sep-13 16:36:24

I wouldn't mention pregnancy in the interview. I'd mention it when they offered the job. Much like if I had a hidden disability I wouldn't mention it in the interview.

At that point they've already decided you're the best candidate for the job. A decent company wants the best candidate regardless of the candidate causing them moderate inconvenience in the short term. A shit company may well won't but would you want to work for them anyway?

OwlinaTree Sun 15-Sep-13 16:37:15

teatimesthree it's not a case of sex discrimination. If you are in a job already you have every right to equal treatment - agreed. If you are a woman of child bearing age you should not be questioned as to your marital status and or family status during interview - agreed.

Should you withhold any information during interview which is going to prevent you doing your job? Long term illness, pregnancy, medical conditions? It's a bit of a tricky one really isn't it? I think you would be misrepresenting yourself. I don't think that's a wilful misunderstanding of sex discrimination, I think it's a real understanding of work places and getting on with your colleagues. I'm not saying it's ideal, but it is the reality.

SilverApples Sun 15-Sep-13 16:37:56

It's sort of a similar dilemma to that mentioned a few months ago, where students were being offered good, permanent jobs and parents were asking about the ethics of them accepting when they were not planning on staying more than a few months.
As I was the breadwinner for a decade, including through both of my pregnancies, of course I think that women are entitled to equal employment opportunities, regardless of family circumstances.
I do think that if the OP gets the job and then declares her pregnancy and future absence for months, the environment on her return may not be happy, sympathetic or willing to adapt to her requirements. They may well look for subtle ways to ensure she resigns.
Or they could be delighted, supportive and willing to wait if she's the perfect person.

OwlinaTree Sun 15-Sep-13 16:40:15

hettiene and I think therein lies the difficulty.

It is a tricky situation, and I guess everyone has to make their own choices.

teatimesthree Sun 15-Sep-13 16:42:08

Owlina - it is a case of sex discrimination because pregnancy and maternity leave affect women and not men. The other cases you mention (e.g. serious illness) affect men and women equally. That is why there is specific legislation to say that pregnant women cannot be discriminated against (although a quick scan of the Employment board shows that sadly this is far from the case).

teatimesthree Sun 15-Sep-13 16:43:18

My question to those who say it is only fair to the employer to disclose the pregnancy:

"What do you think a single parent or female breadwinner who finds herself pregnant and between jobs should do? Take herself off the job market until her baby is born? Or do you not think that women of child bearing age should be financially independent?"

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 15-Sep-13 16:47:39

tea

No of course a women in that situation shouldn't take herself off the job market. As I said in a previous post, I wouldn't tell them about a pregnancy at interview stage (unless glaringly obvious and therefore unavoidable).

If they offered the job I would tell them though. Not least because if they rescind the offer then it's obviously discrimination. Whereas telling them at interview leaves you with no proof should they offer to someone else.

OwlinaTree Sun 15-Sep-13 16:51:41

There are job agencies for temporary jobs, it's always an option. I just think it is dishonest to apply for a permanent job knowing you are not going to be around after a few months without disclosing a long term plan of im actually pg so will need time off but this is the job for me because...

I take your point about the equality with illness, but not pg as it only effects women. I don't know a way round this as that is always the case. Men can take maternity leave instead now can't they?

OwlinaTree Sun 15-Sep-13 16:52:42

Maybe Alvis has a good balance, tell then with the offer rather than at interview.

StuntGirl Sun 15-Sep-13 16:53:01

I think you need to be honest in this world. I would not be impressed if someone started a permanent position at work when actually their intention was to be leaving in a few months.

I think people should do what is best for their circumstances. Employers put themselves first, so should employees.

I have a (male) friend who has recently applied for a bunch of jobs. He has been offered one which starts in two weeks. He will find out about his preferred job in a month. To try and buy some time he told the place that offered him the role a white lie that he's currently on a temporary contact for a month, could they wait another two weeks? They told him they could not and he either joins them now or can't have the job.

He has been roundly advised by all his friends to take the job offered, and leave for the better job should he be offered that too. I doubt anyone is going to get on his case about putting the employers first and doing what's best for them - it's just expected that he should do what's best for him.

Women should do the same.

StuntGirl Sun 15-Sep-13 16:55:11

Oh, and I hate to be the harbinger of doom here, but you're 14 weeks. A lot can happen to the foetus in the next few months. Apply for the job. Don't intentionally put yourself in a position where you may end up with no pregnancy/child and no job either.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 15-Sep-13 16:55:41

That's not really the same thing stuntgirl.

I'd advise any person in the same position as your friend to do as he has been advised.

Thing is the OP actually wants this job she is being interviewed for. Not another one she might get a bit later.

OwlinaTree Sun 15-Sep-13 17:07:34

You are right that employers will put themselves first.

It's not a straight forward issue is it? I agree that theoretically it should make no difference, but it's not the reality. Friend of mine can't understand why 'they'venever liked me at that place' but I'm sure it's because she took a permanent job after being temporary for ages then got pg. It's not right. But it's the reality.

StuntGirl Sun 15-Sep-13 17:07:43

Yes but the point is you never know what is around the corner. Do what's right for you, change it if you need to. Most people are not going to spend their lives skipping from job to job every few months for shits and giggles, it's rare occasions where the planets align to fuck you over. So do what's best for you.

HangingGardenofBabbysBum Sun 15-Sep-13 17:19:22

Go for it, they'd be lucky to invest all that induction, training, investment in someone who's considering not bing straight with them.

You sound like a prize.

Hope you're not the person my DH had turned down lots of committed candidates to invest in, who'll be making up one fifth of our family business.

marzipanned Sun 15-Sep-13 17:29:37

Hanging that's a bit harsh, the OP is asking for advice, not saying "hahahaha isn't it great I've got a new job and I'll be going on maternity leave soon and they don't know about it!!!!"

Out of curiosity, OP, what kind of company is this? Because I will agree with Hanging that in a small company it is massively difficult when a new member of staff goes on ML, particularly when the person who trains/interviews is also the person who is responsible for finding new clients/customers.

sameoldIggi Sun 15-Sep-13 17:30:38

That's just nasty Hangingarden hmm
The investment would still stand after the maternity leave surely? Is your dh's firm one which wishes it didn't have to "bother" with equality legislation?

hettienne Sun 15-Sep-13 17:34:24

That's lots of reasons why someone might accept a permanent job, then leave within 6 months.

Better job elsewhere
Going travelling
Illness or injury
Loved one becomes ill
Support partner's career
Moving house
Hates the job

How long do you have to commit to a job if you accept it? Your employer doesn't owe you any loyalty.

I've taken jobs and then left within 6 months because I've got a better offer, because I've moved house, because I hated it and because I was pregnant.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 15-Sep-13 17:46:04

Hanginggarden

Bit harsh.

ZolaBuddleia Sun 15-Sep-13 18:09:29

How does it work in terms of splitting leave with the baby's father? Has that come in yet?

OwlinaTree Sun 15-Sep-13 18:12:43

Yes but presumably you didn't know when you took the job you were going to leave after 6 months because you hated it or because you were about to move or because you were going to get a better offer. The op does know she's pg and is planning to take ml.

hettienne Sun 15-Sep-13 18:14:29

What difference does it make if you know or not? If you know that in 6 months you will probably be moving house, should you not get a job? What are you supposed to live on?

HangingGardenofBabbysBum Sun 15-Sep-13 18:17:54

Possibly.

Thought it was harsh two years ago when we hired a woman for an international sales role. She was standing at the station afterwards telling her OH she'd got the job and how great the maternity package was, and how little she'd have to do because she wouldn't be able to fly.

If c

hettienne Sun 15-Sep-13 18:19:06

Surely she wouldn't get the maternity package if she was already pregnant?

HangingGardenofBabbysBum Sun 15-Sep-13 18:19:26

Of course we had to got through the charade of training her, handing over accounts she couldn't service properly, keeping open her job which of c

HangingGardenofBabbysBum Sun 15-Sep-13 18:20:37

Course she never returned to.

It nearly finished us, so yes, bit harsh but that's how I feel and the OP did ask.

hettienne Sun 15-Sep-13 18:21:50

If one employee leaving almost finished you, it sounds like your business is very precarious. How do you deal with people finding better jobs?

marzipanned Sun 15-Sep-13 18:22:19

hettienne tbh in any of these situations I'd still be upfront with my employer. This actually happened to me last year - I took a job in March knowing that I'd have to leave in October. I was completely honest with my employer from day one (in fact I told her before I even went for interview) and in the end when October came she worked with me to ensure that I could keep the job albeit on a PT basis.

OwlinaTree Sun 15-Sep-13 18:23:53

This is not black and white, I've never claimed that.
It can't be the easiest time trying to get a new job while pg, especially if you are currently unemployed.

But I believe honesty is important, and know how people tend to react to this situation, as it's happened at our place.

I'm conflicted, and glad I'm not in this position. Good luck op, you will make the right decision as you have all the information.

marzipanned Sun 15-Sep-13 18:25:30

Hanging it's a horrible predicament for an employer, I just didn't feel it was fair taking it out on the OP. But your response and this kind of behaviour does fuel discrimination against women.

At a previous job I had a woman had been there for one year before going on mat leave. She came back from that mat leave pregnant. Worked another 8 months. Decided at the end of her second mat (annual bonus paid right at the end) to quit and be a SAHM.

Yes, it's true that a lot of employers don't have much loyalty either and perhaps everyone should be looking out for number one, but these kinds of examples leave a really bad taste in everyone's mouth.

marzipanned Sun 15-Sep-13 18:26:12

Sorry, hanging, I mean your response is indicative of how this kind of behaviour fuels discrimination.

SilverApples Sun 15-Sep-13 18:37:14

I think Hanging made an important contribution, it gives another side of the argument. Many small business are precarious, especially if you have a group who have been selected for specific talents and skills and every member is necessary for the whole to function.
If you are doing a minimum wage, unskilled job, then a replacement is often easy to find.
OP hasn't said what sort of job it is, for example, could someone else step in easily? My 18 year old for example?

HangingGardenofBabbysBum Sun 15-Sep-13 19:00:14

We aren't precarious but we are a small specialist family business and we invested heavily in her, and it was money we wrote off that we could ill afford to.

I think she should be honest. It's equally that kind of duplicitous behaviour that fuels the need to discriminate. I HATE that my enthusiasm at DH new hire past week was tempered by wondering if we would be used like that again.

For the record, our FD has had three DC in the decade she has been with us.

teatimesthree Sun 15-Sep-13 19:47:02

Oh come on, Hanging:

"It's equally that kind of duplicitous behaviour that fuels the need to discriminate."

It is not duplicitous - an applicant for a job has no obligation to say that she is pg. And there is no "need to discriminate". If you want to employ people, then you have to take this sort of thing into account, just like sick pay and so on.

Equally, marzipanned's example: "At a previous job I had a woman had been there for one year before going on mat leave. She came back from that mat leave pregnant. Worked another 8 months. Decided at the end of her second mat (annual bonus paid right at the end) to quit and be a SAHM."

What exactly should this woman have done? What did she do wrong? Surely she had the right to quit her job and become a SAHM?

Really important point in all this: about 40% of pregnancies are unplanned. Let's say marzipanned's colleague's second pregnancy was unplanned (as lots of 'quick' second pregnancies are) - what should she have done - had an abortion?

If we want woman to have both the right to choose and the right to be independent financially then this sort of legislation is essential.

Am going to hide this thread now, as I don't think we are really getting anywhere.

marzipanned Sun 15-Sep-13 20:08:44

tea I guess you won't see this response if you hide it, but just in case anyone else cares she was very open about the fact that (a) the second pregnancy was planned and (b) she intended to be a SAHM as soon as her second child was born.

I guess being that open about it isn't duplicitous, but it is highly unfair on colleagues.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 15-Sep-13 20:20:57

I always find this threads interesting mainly due to finishing a job and having to train up my replacement, said replacement turned up heavily pregnant and actually went on ML before I left, which left the company with no permanent replacement and me trying to fit 6 weeks training in to 2 weeks.

The situation became even more interesting when she came back and demanded to go PT, the company couldn't give her it so she left and they had to train up a third person.

This sort of issue is not always so clear cut.

sameoldIggi Sun 15-Sep-13 20:22:01

There is never an acceptable " need to discriminate".
What would we have women do? Resign their jobs when they marry, the way we used to have to do? Or when we have a first child? Or ask employers when it would be ok to ttc? Or should I tell my employer when I start to ttc, even though it might take me years to be successful? It is a whole area of difficulty, and one which men do not face And this is why we have anti-discrimination laws.

StuntGirl Sun 15-Sep-13 20:33:14

Women sometimes get pregnant.

This affects all sorts of things.

Work is one of them.

We as a society deal with that, because pregnancy is a part of life and society.

aichi Sun 15-Sep-13 20:46:20

Hi all, thank you for your responses. I really appreicate your thoughts on this. I was actually worried to put this up as I was scared to hear things that I didn't want to hear...

Anyway my situation is this. The job is for a local authority, museum related specialised work. I'm currently unemployed, I've had quite a few job interviews but with no luck. The last job I had was a year ago and it was a freelance work. Having worked both a freelance and company based works in the past I really want a permanent work. I'm sure people who's worked as a freelance will understand how I feel.

I'm not wanting this job for the sake of maternity leave. The reason I want this job is because its something I know I'll be good at and I've been looking for this kind of work for a year. In fact I don't mind if they don't give me maternity leave. But I intend to take at a year off.

Pregnancy wise, my dh and I wanted a second baby for awhile, especially after I had a miscarriage last year.

So now I'm pregnant and I'm really excited(yet nervous) and also this job opportunity came and I'd like to do my best at the interview but I feel bad that I won't be able to stay long and that they'd be annoyed when they find out I'm pregnant....

I intend to tell them if they offer me the job but not at the interview stage. I'll probably go through HR to inform.

I just wanted to let you know that I'm not using this opportunity for the maternity leave but I really wanted a job for a while and it's just all came at the wrong time for me....

OwlinaTree Sun 15-Sep-13 20:48:49

Good luck, sounds like a great opportunity. And good luck with the baby too.

Chunderella Sun 15-Sep-13 20:52:11

Hope you suffer gender discrimination in the workplace at some point, Hanging.

Chunderella Sun 15-Sep-13 20:53:20

Incidentally, the woman in your example would have no entitlement to the maternity package. If I were more suspicious, I might smell a rat.

StuntGirl Sun 15-Sep-13 21:07:36

Good luck aichi, I hope it goes well.

marzipanned Sun 15-Sep-13 21:17:32

aichi I didn't get the impression from your OP that you wanted the job for ML, and it does sound like a great opportunity for you. I think you're making the right call being upfront with them and I do wish you well, though I think it might also be wise to prepare yourself for not necessarily getting the best response from future colleagues.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 15-Sep-13 21:19:15

Good luck with whatever you decide OP.

Chunderella
What a nasty post.

bbcessex Sun 15-Sep-13 21:20:13

I think it depends on how strong your nerve is and how much you want/need the job. Being dishonest/withholding info would be hard for me to do, but also I think if you tell them at your first interview, you are unlikely to make the short list (unless you were headhunted / it's an extremely specialist post etc.).

If I really needed the job and/or my family finances depended on it, then I would do it. If I didn't, then I would be more anxious about withholding info.

From my perspective, If I interviewed someone who in essence, told me they were planning on working for a few months whilst possibly having time off for appointments then taking up to a whole year off, I would be extremely unlikely to think they were the best candidate. Even if they were extremely qualified and with a suitable skill set, they aren't going to be available, which is really what the main part of a job is...

This is ENTIRELY different to someone who is already employed and established becoming pregnant. I would say the majority of people are employed with a firm for some time, and 'earn' the support / package that maternity rights bring.. (disclaimer - obviously not all, but most friends that I know have been with their employers a while before getting pg).

bbcessex Sun 15-Sep-13 21:30:23

hanginggarden - I have also employed someone who unknown to me was pregnant before she joined. It has a huge impact on a small business chunderalla - very different to working for a larger .organisation where to a degree, extra work / costs can be 'absorbed'

Having to keep someone's job open for them, cover appointments and try and employ temporary maternity cover for specialist roles is no laughing matter, I can tell you.. it's nothing to do with being sexist or discriminatory...

EATmum Sun 15-Sep-13 21:30:40

So now the law has changed, and men (or the non-pregnant partner) can take an equal share of the maternity leave, do you think that dads-to-be are similarly conflicted when they look for new jobs? And do you think that employers think about that "risk" when they appoint a man of an age where a young family is likely? Nope.

maddening Sun 15-Sep-13 21:37:35

just on the point of paternity leave - fathers can now share ML with the mother - if more men took this then you might see the playing field leveled out - but due to the patriarchal society we live in with males wages still higher than for women it would mean a larger drop in wages that most families couldn't afford if the father took this leave so I don't see that happening.

maddening Sun 15-Sep-13 21:38:39

sorry should have read to bottom

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Sun 15-Sep-13 21:40:48

I'd definitely go for the job in your shoes. You're currently out of work so have nothing to lose in terms of existing maternity package (which would be my only consideration). Do not tell them you are pregnant. Since they haven't seen you before your 14 week bump is very unlikely to be picked up on, especially in looser clothes. I would not even tell HR that you are pregnant at all. If they offer you the job accept it and then let your manager or HR know about your pregnancy once you've been in post a few weeks.

This is the only way to level the playing field of discrimination against women. Good luck OP smile

Beamur Sun 15-Sep-13 21:44:03

A friend of mine went for a job interview (when pregnant) and got the job. I don't know if she said anything or not. Took a reasonable amount of leave (think baby was 7 or 8 months old when she went back) and is happy with her new job. Doesn't seem to have been too much of a problem - but she is a public sector worker, so presumably less likely to have been discriminated against.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Sun 15-Sep-13 21:46:16

Beamur - I think that is a good point - the public sector do tend to be more up to speed on good employment practices. Luckily for the OP the job she's going for is for a local authority.

Beamur Sun 15-Sep-13 21:55:07

I hadn't read all the posts, so missed that the OP was applying for a public sector post. In which case, I'd say go for it, YANBU.

Chunderella Sun 15-Sep-13 22:02:22

It was indeed boneyback, as nasty as Hanging's was. With a bit of luck it might give her food for thought.

Why was that addressed to me, bbcessex?

slightlysoupstained Sun 15-Sep-13 22:04:31

Good luck with the interview aichi. FWIW, sounds like the job is quite specialised - I also do a job that is quite specialised, and I would be bloody delighted if we got a great candidate in, because it's bleeding hard to find good people and I'd rather have someone great for 6 months (and then back after a year) than someone rubbish who I'd have to handhold for 18 months.

And with a specialised role, sometimes it does come down to that. Sometimes you're looking for someone for the long term. Women tend to stay places longer anyway IME. Also - the only people I've worked with who've dropped in briefly then buggered off to a better offer leaving us scrambling with a week's notice to recruit again have been men. Funnily enough this is just accepted, despite being harder to work around than months of notice.

As someone who does do interviews, I would much rather not know before interview - I want to be able to make up my mind w/o being influenced, and more importantly, have it provable that I wasn't influenced. Stating early is potentially putting the interview panel in an uncomfortable position.

wannaBe Sun 15-Sep-13 22:22:10

IMO it is not discrimination to not offer someone a job who is going to be leaving for a year in a matter of weeks. The company needs someone to do a permanent job now, if you are pregnant and planning to go on a year’s maternity leave then you are not a suitable candidate to be doing that job now because you won’t be available. Let’s bear in mind that op is currently 14 weeks pregnant. Recruitment and offer and start will probably take a minimum of six weeks, so op will be 20 weeks pregnant by then. Even if op plans to stay until she is 40 weeks pregnant that’s a maximum of 20 weeks she is planning to work for the company before disappearing for a year.

The talk of discrimination and equal rights is entirely disingenuous. This isn’t a situation where someone is already working for a company and has fallen pregnant, they are already a valued employee of the company with a known track record. This is someone who is planning to go for a job and leave them in the lurch, needing to recruit again without prior knowledge. And it has nothing to do with money because the op won’t be earning while on ml – she won’t even be entitled to maternity pay.

There’s nothing wrong with applying for a job while you’re pregnant, but IMO the company reserve the right to not employ someone who is not going to be staying with them for more than a couple of months before making them go through the whole recruitment process again.

sameoldIggi Sun 15-Sep-13 22:26:14

Wannabe let's hope you are not in a recruiting position as you would be breaking the law. Just because you don't like it, doesn't stop it being illegal.

guiltyconscience Sun 15-Sep-13 22:40:09

Be honest they will probably give you the job being too afraid to be sued for bias and I am not joking honestly. We had girls on a temp contract the jobs are being put to permanent now this one girl is shit and 12 weeks pregnant the boss confided in me they would have to employ her as they are too scared of being taken to a tribunal I ask you she has been off sick 4 times since June and the boss has been told she is shit at the job by everyone in the team ! So to answer you op I would be honest you may find it works in your favour. Good luck by the way my dear.

Incidentally I've been That Woman. I started a job 1w pg wink slightly triumphant weekend and desperately kept my pgy secret until my probation period was over.

My bosses couldn't have been nicer about it, as it happened, and I was a bloody good employee for the seven or eight months I worked there.

eretrew Sun 15-Sep-13 22:47:10

I think you risk failing a probation period which will render you virtually unemployable so I would not pursue it if I were you

blueshoes Sun 15-Sep-13 23:31:33

I agree with owlina and the issue of being honest with your employer. This is particularly so since OP intends to take the full year off.

The laws are there to protect women but there should also be a quid pro quo. Too much piss-taking makes it that much more difficult for other women.

Bugsylugs Sun 15-Sep-13 23:32:07

Good luck op. do not say you can repay them in future years.
I was in situation where dh job was finishing 3 weeks before my due date. My training finished begining August so without work and mat pay mortgage etc would have been impossible.

My family come first but I am committed to my job ( for those questioning some areas continuation of service counts so I had all the maternity benefits) . I did not tell until a few weeks after accepting the job. They were very poor employers probably worse as they had not picked up I was pregnant at interview and I started at 25 weeks. I would do it again in the blink of an eye. I would have been a very loyal employee if treated ok as it was I looked for another job on returning after maternity.

They did get a member of staff to ask about family and plans!

Dc was a very happy miracle as we were told we could not have any.

Oh and before anyone's heart bleeds for the employer my mat pay was paid by the authority and they had tremendous cover.

Bugsylugs Sun 15-Sep-13 23:32:17

Good luck op. do not say you can repay them in future years.
I was in situation where dh job was finishing 3 weeks before my due date. My training finished begining August so without work and mat pay mortgage etc would have been impossible.

My family come first but I am committed to my job ( for those questioning some areas continuation of service counts so I had all the maternity benefits) . I did not tell until a few weeks after accepting the job. They were very poor employers probably worse as they had not picked up I was pregnant at interview and I started at 25 weeks. I would do it again in the blink of an eye. I would have been a very loyal employee if treated ok as it was I looked for another job on returning after maternity.

They did get a member of staff to ask about family and plans!

Dc was a very happy miracle as we were told we could not have any.

Oh and before anyone's heart bleeds for the employer my mat pay was paid by the authority and they had tremendous cover.

Bugsylugs Sun 15-Sep-13 23:33:53

Sorry for double post

RinseAndRepeat Sun 15-Sep-13 23:35:00

This happened to me. I wasn't pregnant at the start of the (very long) interview process. But by the time they offered me the job I was about 10 weeks.

I took the job, waited until I'd had my scan and then told my boss. She couldn't have been nicer about it. But even if she hadn't, what was I going to do? Have an abortion? Resign? I've been made redundant enough times during this recession to know that employers will throw you under a bus in the blink of an eye if it will save their arses. So I'm not going to compromise my family life (and that includes earning money to support a family) for any employer.

I passed my probation period with flying colours and they're already asking me to think about what I want to do when I come back. Whether part time, full time, etc. They've been brilliant.

You're not doing anything wrong at all. You're perfectly entitled to go for that job. And you're perfectly entitled to take it if they offer it to you.

Don't few. Bad about anything. Good luck!

StuntGirl Sun 15-Sep-13 23:41:37

There’s nothing wrong with applying for a job while you’re pregnant, but IMO the company reserve the right to not employ someone who is not going to be staying with them for more than a couple of months before making them go through the whole recruitment process again.

Aaaaaand this train of thought is precisely why we have anti-discrimination laws.

I hope to god you have nothing to do with recruitment wannabe.

HangingGardenofBabbysBum Mon 16-Sep-13 06:03:04

Chunder, sniff away! We stuck to the letter if the law of that country at that time.

OP, good luck with the baby and thanks to those who can see some of the challenges faced by very small companies.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Mon 16-Sep-13 06:48:11

I've been in a similar situation twice, but for temporary contracts.

I interviewed for a 6 month job at 8-10 weeks pregnant and didn't feel the need to say anything as baby wasn't due until 4 weeks after the end of the contract (actually had DD1 on the last day of my contract. I'd had to stop work a week early, but had enough annual leave that I only took 1 1/2 days of sick leave). I didn't think my pregnancy was relevant.

I applied for a temporary (6 month) job when I was pregnant. I knew I would want to apply for other jobs with the same employer in the future. I was about 14/15 weeks pregnant at the interview and due mid July with the job ending in August. I'd decided that I was going to declare my pregnancy at the end if the interview because I didn't want to be appointed over someone who could work the full contract and let them down if I want to apply again. I also applied for part time and they were looking to get 2 full time people.
It turned out that I was the only applicant & when I said I was pregnant they just congratulated me & said it wasn't a problem.

CaptChaos Mon 16-Sep-13 07:08:35

wannabe whatever your opinion is, it is discrimination to not offer someone a job purely because they are pregnant and will go on maternity leave. To do this would be against the law and would cost far more in penalties for the company than any length of heavily subsidised leave would.

The law now says that a couple can slice up ML between them however they like and that companies have to suck it up. How many of you advocating the OP tells her prospective employer that she's pregnant would tell an expectant father the same thing? If you wouldn't, then you're discriminating against women and men.

Threads like this are so depressing. We are so lucky to have legal protection against various forms of discrimination in the UK. We should all thank our lucky stars we don't live in the USA, where there is no right to anything during pregnancy and women are expected to have their babies and get back to work asap in order to support their families. Having said that, their seem to be a few women on this thread who would advocate that. If my DH came home and said that because he disapproved of the legally protected rights of women in the workplace, I'd have serious doubts about what value he placed on my and other women's contributions to the world of work. I certainly wouldn't come on to a public forum and defend his position.

blueshoes Mon 16-Sep-13 10:00:05

I don't disapprove of the protections accorded to women. How could I? I consulted employment lawyers twice in my career.

But there has to give-and-take as well. It is not all one-sided. It is different if the OP were going for a temp role or intended to take a short maternity. But to go for a permanent role with a one year maternity leave seriously calls for voluntary disclosure before accepting the job.

It is not all footstamping "I know my rights". That does not help women's employment chances at all. I don't blame employers for being once bitten twice shy or getting narc-ed once they find out. Fine if OP was in the job prior to getting pregnant. But not if she is competing with other candidates for the same job.

Chunderella Mon 16-Sep-13 10:07:31

Delighted to hear it hanging, because you certainly sound like one of those types who thinks they shouldn't have to comply with employment laws they don't like.

wannaBe Mon 16-Sep-13 11:13:21

It's not discrimination to not employ someone because they're not the most suitable candidate for a job, and wanting to take a year off in a matter of weeks makes someone a not suitable candidate.

This is not about the rights of women in existing employment. But it is ridiculous to suggest that employers should be happy about employing someone who is already several months pregnant and expecting to take a year out in a matter of weeks, with the possibility of not coming back.

wink1970 Mon 16-Sep-13 11:35:09

As we all know, many employers won't take on women of child-bearing age, sometimes because they are sad old shits, but often because they are genuinely scared about the financial/operational aspects of a ML gap in their workforce.

IMHO, if you don't tell them about your pregnancy, you will re-enforce the fear of fertile women and it may stop this employer taking on younger women in the future. You may also find your colleagues resent you for not telling the truth - how long would this feel like a great job if all around you view you as 'the one who lied'?

On a personal note: I'm an employer and if you didn't tell me you would end your employment at the end of your probation period - "sorry, you just don't fit in" is a legally acceptable reason. If you told me, and I could plan ahead for your ML, and you were 'the one' then you would still get the job.

Hubb Mon 16-Sep-13 11:45:27

Haven't read other responses but think you should go for it.. What if the company is planning "restructuring" in a few months or a years time..They may still need someone now so will be employing people on a "perm" basis and they aren't going to tell people redundancies may come up.

Ok quite a specific example but my point is the company will be doing what they need to protect themselves and just as you should.

Good luck covering the bump, what about one of those floatyish tops that has a thin elasticated bit at the bottom, that may create some space where you need it and looks smart under a suit. Probably an awful description sorry!

sameoldIggi Mon 16-Sep-13 13:02:11

Add message | Report | Message poster wannaBe Mon 16-Sep-13 11:13:21
It's not discrimination to not employ someone because they're not the most suitable candidate for a job, and wanting to take a year off in a matter of weeks makes someone a not suitable candidate.

Sorry wannabe, this is discrimination. I think a lot more training in this area needs to be done by employers, given some of the opinions expressed on this thread!

specialmagiclady Mon 16-Sep-13 13:21:23

Definitely don't tell them at first interview. You may not like them, the job may not be what you hoped. You may not be the perfect candidate, pregnant or not. Why quire your pitch needlessly?

An interview is like a first date - it's a chance for you to project your best self, maximise your brilliance and find out if you like them at all. Once they love you and know they want you, you can stop (metaphorically) shaving your legs and let them know you're pregnant.

wannaBe Mon 16-Sep-13 13:30:34

you see I don't think it is. If a woman works for a company and announces she is pregnant and is then dismissed because of it then it is discrimination because you can't just get rid of a possibly long-standing employee purely because they are pregnant.

But that is different to someone who does not yet work for the company.

If you were interviewing someone for a job and they said "oh, I thought I should inform you that I will be moving house in four months time, so I will be working for you until then and then I will be leaving," would you employ them? If someone said "oh, I am going to be going back-packing around Australia for a year in four months time but I would really like to work for you until then," would you employ them? I suspect not. "I am pregnant and will be leaving in four months time for at least a year," is no different. The company are at a point where they are investing in a new recruit, this involves advertising, interviewing, training. Why should any company be expected to make the financial investment in someone who isn't planning to stay in the short term purely because they are pregnant? No employee is that* valuable*.

And reality is that the op isn't looking for a job now she is looking for one in eighteen months time.

Clearly there are employers who are prepared to take on someone who is already pregnant. but IMO they are not wrong for not wanting to. Equally it is IMO dishonest to withhold the information and you would not earn yourself much respect from colleagues.

HeadsDownThumbsUp Mon 16-Sep-13 14:04:54

"you see I don't think it is"

What you think is irrelevant. It is discrimination and against the law.

HeadsDownThumbsUp Mon 16-Sep-13 14:08:15

I bet half the people on this thread who think that pregnant women between jobs should effectively opt themselves out the labour market are also against unemployment benefit.

sameoldIggi Mon 16-Sep-13 15:01:20

Wannabe being pg is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act. Moving house isn't. By all means say you don't agree withe the EA, but don't claim to know what is and isn't discrimination under it! Try the EHRC website if you'd like to learn something about it smile

blueshoes Mon 16-Sep-13 15:04:50

Headsdown, it is not asking pregnant women to opt out of the employment market. It is making frank disclosure of her circumstances before accepting so the employer can make an informed decision.

OP could improve her chances by going for a short term contract or shorten her maternity leave. She can also go for a permanent role, just make her pregnancy known before accepting.

blueshoes Mon 16-Sep-13 15:05:54

Agree with wannabe.

slightlysoupstained Mon 16-Sep-13 17:50:04

blueshoes Responsible employers don't want to know. It puts you in an uncomfortable position. If a candidate tells me after interview, fine but I don't want to be even subconsciously influenced when interviewing. Because I take that responsibility seriously enough to make myself familiar with the law.

Have you ever been in a position where you were recruiting for a professional role? I doubt it.

wannaBe Mon 16-Sep-13 18:06:47

it's not about employers being "responsible" usually it's about them being so shit scared of being sued that they'll hire a pregnant woman regardless of her suitability because not doing so could land them in court.

As I said there is a vast difference between discrimination on the basis that someone is already working there and then falls pregnant, and someone who is expecting to walk into a job and then leave again in a matter of weeks and expecting that job to be kept open for a year, and having that right purely on the basis that she is pregnant. Why should being pregnant earn someone a greater entitlement than someone who isn't?

And nobody is saying pregnant women should take themselves off the job market, but they should IMO disclose pregnancy in order that an employer can make a decision. And yes, I think if you are pregnant then it is reasonable to expect that it will be harder to get a job because of the fact you will be leaving imminently. It's different to being in existing employment because you already have a proven track record etc and maternity rights.

And no I don't think the same applies to men even if maternity leave can now be split because I think it's unlikely that many fathers will actually take up this opportunity.

slightlysoupstained Mon 16-Sep-13 18:21:11

wannabe What are you basing this total nonsense on? It is actually pretty straightforward to get rid of unsuitable (I.e. incapable) people during probation, as long as you educate yourself on the legal requirements and don't believe nonsense of the sort you are spouting in this thread. This is total Daily Mail style fantasy - it bears absolutely no relationship to the real world.

How many times have you personally fired someone? Hired someone? I bet it's zero. Wannabe indeed.

ModeratelyObvious Mon 16-Sep-13 19:20:41

Someone who was moving house or off to Australia would be under no obligation to disclose it either.

StuntGirl Mon 16-Sep-13 19:24:38

But that is different to someone who does not yet work for the company.

Except legally it isn't. It's discrimination regardless. You are wrong to say otherwise. You may disagree with the law, but luckily your opinion is not law.

BoneyBackJefferson Mon 16-Sep-13 19:45:27

A hypothetical question

A management job opens up and applications are taken.

Its down to two women.

Its made clear that the job is to manage a high impact unit that will be responsible for a multimillion pound contract that is time sensitive, it must run between two dates and be finished on time.

The manager of the team will be expected to be available (at times) 24/7, and during the 12 month contract the team will be available on shifts around the clock.

The difference between the 2 women are that one is pregnant (obvs) but she has slightly more experience and will take a 6mth ML.

Who is the best person for the job?

crescentmoon Mon 16-Sep-13 19:46:03

what about going for an interview at 38 weeks for a job that usually takes 3-4 months to finish all the checks. do you have to reassure them that you can leave your newborn at 4 months to work, do you have to mention it disclose plans? this has been an interesting thread OP.

crescentmoon Mon 16-Sep-13 19:47:00

didnt see boneys post, would be interesting to know the answer to that also.

ModeratelyObvious Mon 16-Sep-13 20:09:34

BBJ

If she has stated she is taking a 6 month maternity leave, she has stated more than she is legally required to do.

The elegant solution would be to give the job to the one who is better qualified, ask the other to be her maternity cover and hire maternity cover for the second candidate's role.

BoneyBackJefferson Mon 16-Sep-13 20:21:24

Moderately

That would only work if it was an internal post. (but I like your thinking)

What if you are employing from outside the company?

Could you reasonably expect the second applicant to take on a 6mth maternity leave in stead of looking for a permanent position?

ModeratelyObvious Mon 16-Sep-13 20:27:40

I kind of assumed it was internal as I don't know why else they'd know she was going to take 6 months ML.

If it was external, of course candidate 2 night say no to a ML cover post - but it would be ok to ask her to consider it.

BoneyBackJefferson Mon 16-Sep-13 20:51:53

I should have made it implicit in the post.

angeltulips Mon 16-Sep-13 21:09:43

What slightlysoupstained said - both times. What kind of foolish employer wants that kind of disclosure at interview? And of COURSE you can fire/not hire pregnant women if they are not competent. Clearly most people on this thread haven't worked in large organisations where you are hiring and firing all the time.

As an aside, you can often find some fantastic candidates on mat leave contracts - often slightly less experienced but excellent. I've offered jobs to mat leave covers when their contracts are up on multiple occasions - often there is another role/we shuffle the team a bit to keep good people on.

OP - don't listen to all the naysayers, of course you should apply. Tell them when you've signed the contract and not before. (just hope you don't get called in for another interview!)

CaptChaos Mon 16-Sep-13 22:52:12

Wannabe not in law there isn't. Discrimination is discrimination no matter how prettily you word it.

blueshoes Mon 16-Sep-13 22:54:40

Soupstained, whenever my team needs someone, I do the interviewing with others. They will be professionals working for a large firm. Stop with your wild assumptions that I have zero hiring experience.

Once we hire someone, it will be difficult to get rid of them (but we have done so) and a waste of time and money for all involved. But that is not the point - no one hires thinking they will want to get rid of the person. They just want to hire the best person and availability is a major factor.

All things being equal, we will want the candidate that is available in the near future for doing the job and for training them. But if the candidate does not disclose, well that reflects on them as a person though there is very little an employer can do about it. Not the best start to a working relationship with the employer and their colleagues. As an employee, why anyone would want to put themselves in this position is beyond me. But of course, it is well within their wimmin's rights to take advantage of the laws to the fullest extent and damn what disruption they cause to others.

bevelino Mon 16-Sep-13 23:15:46

You are not obligated to say anything and they cannot discriminate against you either at the time of hiring or later for not revealing that you were pregnant at the time of the interview. Go for it.

ModeratelyObvious Mon 16-Sep-13 23:16:27

If I'm planning to take a job like BBJ describes and then quit three months in once ive earned a huge salary as I'm planning a RTW trip, you can't tell because it's in my head.

If I'm a bloke and my wife is pregnant and I'm planning to take the job and then to take maximum paternity leave - you can't tell because it's in my head.

If I'm an employer and I need to staff up for said project just in case even though I know there's a good chance it might get canned and all involved laid off - you can't tell because it's in my head.

It's only the visibly pregnant who don't have that luxury, and that only applies to one sex. Hence protected characteristic.

sameoldIggi Mon 16-Sep-13 23:28:23

Blueshoes did you really write "wimmins rights"?
If it was a typo you should ask for it to be deleted as the alternative makes you look like a numpty.

EATmum Mon 16-Sep-13 23:49:39

This thread is depressing me. Both as a woman, and as someone who has worked for organisations far longer than the three maternity periods are relevant for. Seriously, it's such a short period of time.

blueshoes Tue 17-Sep-13 08:32:05

Iggi, not a typo. Did you really mean to write 'numpty'? Because that isn't very intelligently argued and passive aggressive to boot.

sameoldIggi Tue 17-Sep-13 14:17:23

I wasn't trying to formulate an argument, I was passing comment on how your comment denigrating the hard-won achievements in the area of equality of the sexes made you appear.

blueshoes Tue 17-Sep-13 16:08:16

Iggy, that’s a much better way of expressing yourself and actually getting your point across.

Nevertheless, I disagree with your views.

It is women who insist on their rights without any consideration to their future employers and colleagues that set back the progress of women’s rights. It is not a tall order to ask women to disclose their pregnancy before accepting the offer. They could still very well be the best candidate and a responsible employer (the one we all want to work for) will welcome their candour and be able to make arrangements.

StuntGirl Tue 17-Sep-13 16:52:05

Wrong blueshoes.

If that method worked we'd have no need for legislation on the matter.

blueshoes Tue 17-Sep-13 17:01:43

Yes, we need legislation in this area. I merely disagree that in this instance, being militant whilst interviewing is the best way forward.

It is an own goal to get a job based on concealment. The good employer/colleagues who don't mind would not be influenced by the disclosure anyway. The bad ones who DO mind will make that employee's life a misery before her maternity leave and once she is back. So what does that achieve - she got the job that is her right but at what cost? Seems a lot of wasted effort and badwill generated all round.

But hey, it is the OP's prerogative to embark on fruitless battles that prove the principle but don't advance anybody's interests, much less women's.

blueshoes Tue 17-Sep-13 17:02:15

Let's not miss the wood for the trees.

ModeratelyObvious Tue 17-Sep-13 17:40:52

Blueshoes, it's an inherently unequal situation. Biology makes it so. How would you get round that?

blueshoes Tue 17-Sep-13 17:57:34

I would give the same advice to a man who wanted to take a one year sabbatical after working a few weeks.

It does not make a difference to an employer what is the reason for the one year break. But concealing that you are intending to do so reflects badly on the applicant as a person. Does it feel great to take a job based on deception even if within our rights?

I don't see how biology comes into it. Get pregnant, disclose at some point if interviewing. Want to go on sabbatical, disclose at some point if interviewing.

sameoldIggi Tue 17-Sep-13 18:22:09

A sabbatical and a pregnancy just aren't the same things. If you treat them as the same, then you are not accepting pregnancy as a protected characteristic. Also when should the honest employee disclose? At first bfp? At 12 weeks? A 20 weeks post anomaly scan? This is an ideal world where all pgs lead to babies. I have read a thread like this before, where the decision was taken out of the OP's hands by miscarriage. Should she have lost job as well as baby? And should men disclose if partner if pregnant? Fortunately we don't all have to decide individually about these things, we can just turn to legislation instead.

ModeratelyObvious Tue 17-Sep-13 18:23:45

One is a lot more common than the other. And both men and women could be taking that sabbatical.

Do you think the employer should disclose during the process if there's a risk the project could be cancelled and the job made redundant?

blueshoes Tue 17-Sep-13 20:32:56

The risk is on the employer if they embark on a shaky project. It costs to make people redundant. The employer has to pay the employee until the whole legal process is over. You can say that about any job. We take the risk that the company goes bust or the role is no longer needed.

In the same way, everyone understands that a pregnancy can always result in miscarriage. Disclosure does not necessarily mean the applicant loses the job.

Pretty negative thinking going on. I don't think honest disclosure is a difficult concept at all.

slightlysoupstained Tue 17-Sep-13 21:10:03

Statutory redundancy doesn't even kick in until two years, what a bizarre attempt to draw some kind of equivalence.

Renaming your idea "honest disclosure" (nice spin there) doesn't get around the fact that several people on this thread have stated they do not want it when they are making hiring decisions.

bbcessex Tue 17-Sep-13 21:40:26

sameoldiggi.. I'm interested in the discussion.. It's such a contentious subject and I can see both sides, being a working woman with children.

Do you think there could / should be a difference depending on the size of the organisation?

For example, in a small business (say 5 or less employees), what do you think then? If eg 1/5th of the work force was recruited to meet a no doubt much discussed, urgent and much budgeted for position? Is it ok to interview for a role / accept a role, knowing you are pregnant and your future plans?

This, I think is different, than a larger company, that could potentially offer cover and absorb some of additional workload.

bbcessex Tue 17-Sep-13 21:41:50

sorry - was specifically naming sameoldiggi because I read your post last, but I'm also reading the other posts of course!

Welshwabbit Tue 17-Sep-13 22:48:58

This thread has been an interesting read.

I'm an employment lawyer and whilst I do understand how inconvenient it can be for employers, particularly small employers, when an employee takes maternity leave, it has been the law for many years that you cannot take pregnancy or maternity leave into account in making employment decisions. That is the case even if you're hiring for a temporary contract and the employee will be away for much of it.

It is not the case, however, that employers have to bear the full cost of maternity pay. If only statutory maternity pay is paid, 92% can be reclaimed from the government by all employers. And small employers (those with class 1 NIC contributions - employer and employee - totalling £45,000 or less) can recover not only the full cost of SMP, but also an additional 3% compensation payment, which should cover at least some of their additional recruitment costs. See here for more info:

www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/spmmanual/spm21315.htm

As I said, I do understand the employer's predicament - but I also think it is disingenuous to say that, by hiding their pregnancies at interview, women make things harder for their sex generally. Women would not hide their pregnancy at interview if they could be sure that employers would act in a non-discriminatory way. As other have said above, pregnancy is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act because only women can become pregnant. It is not the same as long-term illness, or the desire to take a sabbatical, which affect both sexes equally. The position of women in the workplace has been precarious for many, many years because of purely biological factors. The law is there to try to change that.

OP, I wish you the best of luck in your interview. You are not obliged to reveal your pregnancy at interview. You deserve the chance to go for the job on an equal footing to everyone else. Although legally it makes no difference, the fact that the job is for a local authority means that they are more likely to have sophisticated maternity cover arrangements, so if you do get the job, I suspect they will be able to handle your pregnancy and maternity leave just fine.

blueshoes Tue 17-Sep-13 23:25:57

welshrabbit, that is a good description of the law. I understand that and have not disputed it. It applies for current employees and for interviewees. An employer cannot argue against it.

However, from an employees point of view, it is a foolish thing to start an employment relationship on the wrong foot or to go into a company not knowing whether the concealment is likely to be an issue. Prospective employees choose their employers too. Why force your way into a company that ultimately devalues your contribution even if you are competent and reinforces their distrust of hiring women of childbearing age. Some people seek to bring an discrimination claim. I frankly prefer not to waste my time and reputation in the wrong job and just find the best employer for my skills.

It is the OP's choice how she exercises her right.

dontyouknow Tue 17-Sep-13 23:43:55

I am also a lawyer and deal with employment matters. Whilst legally I would know that I did not have to disclose it, morally I would not feel able to go ahead without disclosing it. At the firm of solicitors I work at I am sure it would not go down well (to say the least) if someone started working then announced they were pregnant.

I applied for a job last year. I didn't get it after the second interview as there was one aspect which I really wasn't keen on doing. Shortly afterwards I found out I was pregnant. I was really glad I hadn't been offered the job as I would have already accepted it and handed in my notice. I would have felt really guilty starting a new job pregnant - even though I didn't know at interview.

I think there are a lot of very lucky people above who have started a new job pregnant and not had any problems. Despite the legal position I think there are a lot of employers who would really not be happy about the situation.

OP you are in a more difficult position as you are currently unemployed. Legally you don't have to disclose it but only you will know if you are happy to go ahead on that basis.

FitzgeraldProtagonist Wed 18-Sep-13 00:32:03

I am 15 week pg. I am unemployed. I need an income. I have RTFT, I am no further forward.

1. Should I apply for jobs or just be impoverished and apply like crazy as soon as delivered of newborn.
2. Tell them at interview and judging by attitudes above forget being employed.
3. Tell them at point of offer.
4. Take myself off to home for fallen women without a man to support them, or expect my partner to support me and my other DC, just to tie in with the thread abt the woman who lost her TCs for moving in with her partner.

Definitive answer please! I am applying. I am seeking temp contracts. Despite being a professional no temp contracts in my industry. Am looking at admin roles for which am rejected for being over qualified. I want to return to work 6 weeks post birth. Well?????

bbcessex Wed 18-Sep-13 07:20:24

welshwabbit.. You have not mentioned that full holiday is accrued during maternity leave. This is usually left out when people put info up to emphasise that maternity pay 'costs employers nothing'..

This 5.6 weeks (minimum) pay has to come directly out of the employers pocket. This can have a huge impact on a small business.

FitzgeraldProtagonist Wed 18-Sep-13 08:05:53

Come on! Answers please! I could start an identical thread, but seems pointless. I would, in fact want to take mat leave as holiday. Not costing a potential employer more. Some women just need to work. Not fuck over small businesses.

MrsLion Wed 18-Sep-13 08:11:07

I went for a job interview when I was 14 weeks pregnant too. Due to my particular circumstances at the time, being unemployed was not an option.

I got the job and told them the first week I was there.

It didn't go well.

Even if you are the best person by far for the job, it is highly inconvenient, frustrating and disappointing for employers. They also feel deceived, even if you are legally in the 'right'. Not really a good start to your working relationship.

Mine went from treating me like a superstar, to treating me like shit literally overnight. Then came the pressure to resign. It was truly awful.

In the end they made me redundant whilst I was on leave. Despite me doing a great job, they just couldn't get over my 'deceit'.

Despite that I'd still say go for it, they may have a different attitude than my employers. Its worth the risk if you really want/need a job.

But you have to be prepared for a very negative reaction and the possible consequences.

OwlinaTree Wed 18-Sep-13 08:14:36

I feel for you Fitzgerald, not an easy situation. I hope you manage to find something.

Are you sure you will want to go back 6 weeks after the birth? Is it your first child?

Welshwabbit Wed 18-Sep-13 08:14:57

That's true, bbcessex, and I didn't say maternity leave costs employers nothing. I certainly think there is an argument that the full costs of maternity leave should come out of taxation. There are policy arguments in favour of paid maternity leave that have nothing to do with discrimination - for example, the economic benefits of keeping women in the workplace. If the economy benefits from the policy, that's a good reason why everyone, not just the individual employer, should take the hit.

dontyouknow, I agree that morals are different from the legal position. Personally, if I was applying for a job in a local authority and I thought I would be a good person to do the job on a permanent basis, I would have no qualms about not mentioning the pregnancy at interview. Like the OP, I would mention it at the offer stage. I would have more qualms about it if I were going for a temporary position, or if the job required specialised input that would be difficult to replace at a particular time. I have turned down (unpaid but useful in career terms) positions on committees etc for that reason.

OwlinaTree Wed 18-Sep-13 08:17:21

mrslion I think your experience is the reality of the situation really. I think the deceit is a factor. If you can work in that atnosphere, that's OK, but not all can. I couldn't.

Welshwabbit Wed 18-Sep-13 08:18:20

Fitzgerald, if you really need a job now, then I think you are less likely to get one if you mention the pregnancy (assuming you have no obvious bump - if you do, it might mention itself!). Doesn't that in fact provide an answer to your question?

MrsLion Wed 18-Sep-13 08:27:22

I think it's the reality too- and in hindsight I was very naive in thinking they would be ok with it.

I am very surprised by the stories on here of similar situations that worked out well for the pregnant woman.

FitzgeraldProtagonist Wed 18-Sep-13 09:03:19

Third child. Lost my last job when I was 9 weeks pg. it was well paid, those reserves are running out. I have quite a bump (3rd child!) but could prob conceal under loose black frock. I went back to work 6 weeks after DS1. Good in some ways not in others (good for my sanity, but DS found hard I think, but was necessary).

May just have to come clean as when I go for a job I assume it is for the duration. Looks like unemployment beckons, with no access to benefits from next month, an NRP who has stopped paying CM and a partner who will be expected to financially support my two DC. Single parent to graspy gold digger. I just wanted to pay my way.

I think most employers would be pretty pissed off tbh. It maddens and saddens me this is the case.

bbcessex Wed 18-Sep-13 10:40:33

fitzgerald

If you want to be certain of not being discriminated against then I would withold info of your pregnancy. As and when you get the offer (in writing) you can inform them then, and as you say, if you plan a quick return to work, you will build up credibility and all will be fine

I'm not knocking you for doing it; if I had to get income coming in and was in your situation then I'd do the same, especially if it was a specialist role where I was particularly qualified and I planned on taking as little time off as possible.

HeadsDownThumbsUp Wed 18-Sep-13 16:15:00

"I feel for you Fitzgerald, not an easy situation."

"I think the deceit is a factor. If you can work in that atmosphere, that's OK, but not all can. I couldn't."

Women in this position don't need your feelings. They need money. Most of us work for a reason. This thread has been filled with discussion about 'being the right person for the job' and finding the job of my dreams.... Realistically, most of us work because we have to, in jobs we may or may not care for. And most employers are looking for an adequately qualified person, not a super stellar dream candidate.

Pregnant people need to work and get paid, just like everyone else.

And tolerating a bad atmosphere at work is a hell of a lot easier than bringing up a baby on benefits.

StuntGirl Wed 18-Sep-13 17:23:20

At the end of the day if we go down the route of women not being able to apply for jobs knowing they're pregnant you're relegating them to second class citizens unable to access the same levels of employment as men.

And that's discrimination.

So we don't do it.

OwlinaTree Wed 18-Sep-13 21:26:19

Yes headsdown it's sh*t. I'm not saying it's right. What I am saying is I sympathise with what is a difficult situation, what's so wrong with that?

ModeratelyObvious Wed 18-Sep-13 23:20:48

StuntGirl has nailed it.

Pendeen Fri 20-Sep-13 23:47:00

From the debate raging here, this is a very difficult question.

To me, the question comes down to one of honesty and fairness.

The OP states: "Am I being unreasonable to go for a job interview at this stage of my pregnancy"

The answer to that is of course "no!" Go for the interview.

But then she says: "I also feel sad to feel that I have to hide my bump"

This then is the crux of the debate.
,
I am now torn between my natural empathy as a mother and my worries as a potential employer.

Indeed a very difficult AIBU.

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