How to explain in job interview that I'm on maternity leave?

(16 Posts)
Zara1984 Tue 21-May-13 21:36:14

Just wondering what is the best way to (elegantly) explain in a job interview that I'm on maternity leave? Have been job hunting because my current workplace has no long-term prospects/is imploding.

Didn't mention it on my CV or in cover letter. Technically I'm not really on maternity leave anymore, I'm doing a small amount of hours remotely until my official back-in-the-office date (both of my mat covers quit!).

New job is one I would be quite good at but it is a big step up in terms of responsibility and money.

I do really want to get this job. Obviously if they discriminate against me for being on mat leave it's probably not the kind of place I want to work for anyway. But I would like to do it as neatly as possible, in a way that doesn't make a big deal of it.

Thank you wise MNers....

pizzaqueen Tue 21-May-13 21:39:46

I went for a few interviews whilst on mat leave because I didn't want to return to my old job.

At interview I just answered the questions like I was still employed (I was technically), I didn't say I was on may leave as mat leave is not and should not be classed as a break in employment.

I don't think you should say anything. It probably will affect your chances of getting the job (sad as that is).

EasterHoliday Tue 21-May-13 21:41:13

don't. get offered the job first

Zara1984 Tue 21-May-13 21:43:35

but surely getting the job will be contingent on getting a verbal reference from my current employer? And I can't help if my boss mentioned it, eg "Yes, Zara did an excellent job of XYZ and she completed that task before she went on maternity leave"

pizzaqueen Tue 21-May-13 21:44:32

Your current employer can't tell them you went on mat leave, I'm pretty sure that's not allowed.

burberryqueen Tue 21-May-13 21:45:48

don't mention it at all, you will not get the job.

Zara1984 Tue 21-May-13 21:46:01

I don't think my current boss knows that/would feign ignorance confused - the majority of my team have quit in recent months so it wouldn't be welcome news that I was leaving.

MsDeerheart Tue 21-May-13 21:48:42

don't mention it at interview - if you get offered the job I guess there would be a dicussion about when you can start and you can drop that you are maternity leave then -

pizzaqueen Tue 21-May-13 21:49:11

But if they'd already offered you the job to take the offer back at that stage because you had been on mat leave would be discrimination. So even if your ref mentions may leave they can't discriminate against you because of it.

Just don't lie at interview...just don't mention it at all.

Zara1984 Tue 21-May-13 21:52:58

Good point pizzaqueen. I would be willing to go back early for this new job. I'm due back in October at my current job. Recruiter asked what my notice period was and I just said 4 weeks.

I'm still very much in the loop with my current job and involved with everything that's happening so it's NOT a lie to say I'm no longer on maternity leave... I'm not. They're paying me for work I'm doing.

God this discrimination thing sucks. I want to holler at them "childcare is so fucking expensive for two kids there's no chance I'm going on maternity leave for at least another 3 years!" but obviously that wouldn't land me the job....

burberryqueen Tue 21-May-13 21:57:00

just do not even mention children at work or you will be first out or the mug working without a contract.....(bitter experience)

Zara1984 Tue 21-May-13 21:58:15

I'm already the mug working without a contract sad ... hence the job hunting.

I guess my line if anyone asks/I got hauled up on it is "I'm not on maternity leave anymore, I'm just not currently full-time"

SanityClause Tue 21-May-13 21:58:57

Do you intend to start immediately? If so, what difference does it make that you are currently on maternity leave?

Can you start a job, and immediately be on maternity leave? Someone who already works there has to give notice (28 days, IIRC) of changes to maternity leave (unless the baby is born early), so surely you can't just accept a job but then say, oh, BTW, I want three months ML?

Chubfuddler Tue 21-May-13 22:00:33

I went for a job interview whilst on maternity leave. I told them I was on maternity leave, I was offered the job. Not a problem.

SanityClause Tue 21-May-13 22:03:42

Incidentally, you can't do paid work and be on ML, apart from a few "keeping in touch" days, which are restricted, anyway. So, your employer can't, technically, claim your SMP back from HMRC, if you're working.

Zara1984 Tue 21-May-13 22:06:25

I'm not in the UK, in another European country. The paying back my topped up maternity pay is not really an issue. Yes I would start work at new job (well in a month) immediately if I were to get it. My current employer is disorganised and hasn't defined what my current status is, but because I'm being paid to do some hours remotely I assume that means I'm not on mat leave anymore - just means I'm working part-time.

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