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returning from maternity leave and pregnant again

(24 Posts)
Likeaheadlesschicken Sun 17-Jul-11 22:17:16

Good evening all!

I have an urgent request for help! I have posted this in going back to work and havent got any responses so I thought I would try AIBU...........

Ok so here is the background to my issue:

I have worked for a large retailer for 8 years and am due to return from my year long maternity leave in two weeks time.

I work in a Management position and before having my DD have loved my role and felt well treated by the company.

I am currently five months pregnant with my second child. No one at my work is aware of my pregnancy and I have another 4 weeks approx before I have to legally inform them.

I have put in a flexible working request to go from 5 days to 4 days, this was always my intention pre my second pregnancy.

I have my first flexible working meeting tomorrow (which is being held over the telephone as I have no childcare due to illness).

My question is, do I a) inform work from the outset that I am pregnant and will only be returning to work for approx three months or b) discuss my flexible working request as if I was returning to work for the long term.

I have no idea what to do, I have conflicting opinions as I do not want my Boss to feel I have been dishonest or misled the company in anyway (although it is a very large company, the people you work with feel like family) and I will want to refocus on my career and look to progress within the company within the next 3 to 5 years. Conversely I have a very real need to work 4 days, I have no family or backup to care for my DD and I can only get 4 days booked into my preferred nursery, also due to health issues in my current pregnancy I don't feel I will be physically able to carry out what is a very physical and mentally challenging role. I was told "off the record" a while ago by a HR Manager that if I indicated my intention to get pregnant my flexible working request would be turned down.

So mumsnet jury.............WWYD??

kidsscareme Sun 17-Jul-11 22:26:34

Sympathy with your predicament and congrats on being PG.

I think you should have the interview and not mention being pregnant. I know you feel a loyalty to your co-workers but you need to think of yourself and whats best for your own situation.
You HR mgr has given you a very big clue and you need to play the game in order to get what you need.

Best of luck x

Hannah31 Sun 17-Jul-11 22:27:50

I would be honest. Otherwise, it won't be very pleasant working there when you do return. But then I'm just not very good at white lies!

hellospoon Sun 17-Jul-11 22:28:54

I think you need to tell them the truth else progression within the company may become very difficult for you when they know you have lied.

I see your reasoning etc however honesty is the best policy and if they don't give you the flexible hours they need to provide genuine reasons as to why they cannot give those hours to you.

(sorry for any spelling mistakes i am hungover tired

Hannah31 Sun 17-Jul-11 22:29:05

Ha ha. Love the totally opposing views! Not particularly helpful. Sorry!

pigletmania Sun 17-Jul-11 22:31:36

Congratulations btw smile. I would be open and honest, they will find out eventually.

A1980 Sun 17-Jul-11 22:31:57

I would go with honesty too. Reason being you are 5 months pregnant, you are not merely a few weeks gone. They will know you deliberately kept it from them and no matter what it's about, a lie is a lie. They may never trust you again.

If they turn down your request for flexi, then you only have 3 months to go until your next mat leave... not long.

suzikettles Sun 17-Jul-11 22:32:07

A lie would be saying "no" if they asked you if you were pregnant.

Not mentioning your pregnancy is not a lie. The reason that people conceal their pregnancy from their employers is because of people like your manager telling you your flexible working request would be refused if you were pregnant. How on earth has this got any bearing on the situation?

OOAOML Sun 17-Jul-11 22:33:46

How far along will you be when you go back to work and how early do you anticipate starting your next maternity leave (appreciate that this can change)? Do you have saved holidays that you could use to cover a day off a week until you go on leave again? That might be easier, and save any awkwardness over whether you do or don't tell them.

Having said that, any subsequent pregnancy shouldn't have a bearing on a flexible working request, there are rules governing how they are handled and what factors companies can use in their decision.

If you don't think you can carry out your current role, are there other roles you can do? I have vague memories of being told that if the role wasn't suitable and there wasn't an alternative then you get suspended on full pay.

A1980 Sun 17-Jul-11 22:34:17

A lie would be saying "no" if they asked you if you were pregnant

Fair point! It isn't lying.

Garcia10 Sun 17-Jul-11 22:42:24

I think you have to be honest. They will know that you have withheld your condition and it could be construed as lying as a lie by omission. As other posters have indicated you could find your working environment becomes difficult because of this and your career prospects severely diminished.

Likeaheadlesschicken Sun 17-Jul-11 22:43:09

Ooh I love AIBU!! Looks like honesty is coming out as the best policy, but as Suzikettles and A1980 point out I wouldn't be lying, as I wouldn't mention pregnancy unless they asked and then I couldn't lie. I am just so desperate to get my flexible working request approved as if it wasn't I would be in a right pickle. For those saying take the honesty route would you just come out from the outset and say it then try and discuss the flexible working request as normal...I suppose I could offer unpaid/holiday to take it down to 4 days as a last resort. Would you mention that in tomorrow's meeting or wait to hear about initial flexible working request?????

suzikettles Sun 17-Jul-11 22:54:47

Do you think that your pregnancy is pertinent to your flexible working request?

If you put yourself in your employers' shoes can you see that your pregnancy would make it more difficult for them to have you working 4 days per week rather than 5? I can't think of a scenario where that would be the case but maybe you can.

I can imagine them not being able to be arsed changing things for someone who is going on maternity leave in 3 months. Not very professional, but there you go.

If you do tell them then definitely wait to find out the result of the flexible working request before you offer to take A/L or unpaid leave. If the FWR is turned down, do query if your pregnancy is a factor and if there are any issues surrounding that they are concerned about and maybe you could solve.

If you're going to tell them then I'd maybe rearrange the meeting for date that you can attend in person. These things are much better face to face.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Sun 17-Jul-11 22:57:20

Unless specifically asked, I'd wait to hear about the possibility of flexible working before revealing all.

In fact, if unfavourable, I might need to digest the response to f.w and consider my options before revealing anything further about my present condition/intentions.

TheSecondComing Sun 17-Jul-11 22:58:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Creamandcustard Sun 17-Jul-11 23:02:34

I went back to work from dc1 already 5 months pg with dc2 (also working for a large retailer). I told them straightaway, but I felt like it would go in my favour for getting the days and job location I wanted (which it did).

I would imagine that you'll only be looking at working for a few months anyway, so as others have said, you'll manage 5 days, especially as you'll have time off for ante-natal appointments etc.

ShellyBoobs Sun 17-Jul-11 23:12:36

I'd be open and honest with them if your intention is to eventually return and try to progess your career.

I know there's a conflict of interest in being open, which you've been warned could affect your flexible working request, and keeping schtum which might (in some minds) cast doubt on your integrity but I personally think honesty is the way forward.

mummadumma Tue 02-Aug-11 23:26:33

hi i am new to the site

i am also returning back to work next month after being on maternity leave with dd. She is 8 months.

last wk i found out that i am preg with child no 4.

So confussed on what to do and what entittlements i have at work.

feel so worried and yet so happy.

anyone who has experienced or is in the same boat as me??? i'd really love some advice etc.

been at my current work place for 4 years...... this is the first time that this has happened since i have been there.

nolembit Tue 02-Aug-11 23:33:17

OP you will have banked a years worth of holiday entitlement while you have been on maternity leave and so if HR's turn down your request you could have a day off on holiday every week.

HazeltheMcWitch Tue 02-Aug-11 23:40:49

I would feel a bit let down if someone in my team failed to mention they were 5 weeks pg when we were discussing flex working. Especially when they'd have to tell me only a few weeks later.

So it is not lying, but it is deliberately withholding the truth. This can often be almost as damaging.

Have the conversation in an adult way. You want a long term career with the company so you DO need to keep it on an adult, mutually-respectful footing.

Even set it up by saying 'And I know this will have no effect on my flexible working request, but I do think it is the right time to tell you that I am pregnant. I am sure you can understand that I worried about telling you, but I wanted you to have the full picture etc etc'

HazeltheMcWitch Tue 02-Aug-11 23:41:40

5 weeks 5 MONTHS!
And congrats, btw.

WilsonFrickett Tue 02-Aug-11 23:51:56

I think it could even work in your advantage - approving a request for a few months for an employee who is then (presumably) going to take another year off is less of a deal. For instance, if your current mat leave replacement is really good but only on a temp cover contract they might decide to keep them on to cover your mat leave 2 - and you only being back 4 days a week means that you are being paid less, so thats a good deal for them.

I think honesty is always the best policy. Also, if you had this meeting with me on the phone and I then found out you were pg I would think you'd lied about illness (ie you didn't want to meet face to face because I would see you were pg) and that would really, really sour our relationship. Not worth being thought a liar, even if that wasn't the intention.

DrCoconut Wed 03-Aug-11 00:33:43

Will they be able to tell? When I was 5 months pregnant with DS2 I looked like an airship with arms and legs already! It seems that the best thing may be to tell them as concealing it may be difficult, certainly in a few weeks if not now. And knowing you lied/embroidered the truth doesn't perhaps set you up for a good future there.

MrsCarriePooter Wed 03-Aug-11 07:48:54

I've done this - it was absolutely fine although I was very nervous and my boss was very shocked when I told him.

I'd be wary about going for a flexible working request to reduce your hours if you could use holiday instead - you'll be reducing your salary, won't that have knock-on effects on your maternity pay or do you only get SMP?

And I would definitely tell them. You say you loved your role, the people are like family, you obviously want to stay there and progress - it seems very underhand to me to have a talk about your future and not mention it and all the reasons given above - maternity cover etc - too.

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