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To think I'll be fired if my boss finds out I'm pregnant

(29 Posts)
cs98127634 Tue 12-Nov-19 15:19:13

Sorry quite a long back story, but I could really do with some advise.

I'm currently in the 4th month of a 6 month probation period and I am 6 weeks pregnant. I'm part time. I was hired by a manager who was pretty incompetent and I think he bought me on because he couldn't cope with his work and effectively needed a PA. However, I am actually contracted to do a role that's a bit more senior than that.

I am the only part time member of staff. When I started there was only one person doing my role, then they hired me and now they have hired a second full-time member of staff. The second full time member of staff was given training immediately but I am still waiting to receive mine, despite being starting a couple of months before her.

A few weeks ago the manager who hired me was fired himself.

We currently have very low volumes of work, which means our office is making almost no money for the company. Other offices have the same number of staff in my role but have double the amount of work. Therefore, it clearly doesn't make sense to have the same number of staff.

I have asked a couple of times about why I have not received training and if this is because they don't intend to keep me after my probation. The new manager and her boss sing my praises and tell me not to worry, the only reason I haven't been given training is because I'm already doing so well without it. But this has been discussed in person. When I have asked over email for feedback or and advise on where I can improve I have been ignored.

I'm pretty skinny and last time I was pregnant I was really obviously showing by about 15 weeks. I am worried that they will suspect I am pregnant and fire me at the end of my probation.

Am I being paranoid? Does anyone have any advice.

Spanglebangle Tue 12-Nov-19 15:36:29

Tell them you are pregnant asap. They would find it very difficult to get rid of you then.

cs98127634 Tue 12-Nov-19 15:51:01

@spanglebangle but I thought they can get rid of you for whatever reason they like when you are on probation

BedraggledBlitz Tue 12-Nov-19 15:56:33

I'd keep quiet. Wear lots of layers over winter until probation is up. The job sounds a bit uncertain so your pregnancy could make the decision easier for them. It would be a bastard thing to do but some places are like that.

ScreamingCosArgosHaveNoRavens Tue 12-Nov-19 15:56:52

'Whatever reason they like' doesn't include reasons which are discriminatory, so they can't fire you because you are pregnant - they would have to give another reason.

You would have more protection if you told them, because if you don't tell them but they suspect this, they can fire you ostensibly for another reason and in a tribunal situation could claim they were unaware of your pregnancy.

If you tell them, they can still fire you but would have to provide convincing evidence that the pregnancy wasn't the reason.

OrangeHue Tue 12-Nov-19 15:58:06

Whatever reason they like? Who’s told you that?! Read up on employment law

AmIThough Tue 12-Nov-19 15:58:18

Wait until you've completed your probation before you tell them.
In the meantime keep trying to push for their performance review in writing.

Novemberblu3s Tue 12-Nov-19 16:00:49

even if you pass the probation, it would mean nothing as they can let you go easily in the first 2 years even post probation.

the cannot fire you for being pregnant but they can fire you for other reasons.

cs98127634 Tue 12-Nov-19 16:01:13

Thank you so much! I will try and get they to give me a review in writing before I do anything

NeedAnExpert Tue 12-Nov-19 16:02:36

I thought they can get rid of you for whatever reason they like when you are on probation

Probation is a red herring. That applies (except where there is discrimination) for the first 2 years of employment. Probation makes no difference.

sillysmiles Tue 12-Nov-19 16:15:44

As you are only 6 weeks - say nothing and see how things progress with work and training etc.

Liverbird77 Tue 12-Nov-19 16:21:00

Do not tell them yet.
They can't ask.
They can come up with any spurious reason to get rid of you. Mind you, that applies to the first two years of employment. At least if you pass probation your case will be stronger

KittyMcTitty Tue 12-Nov-19 16:28:16

This is terrible advice. You should definitely tell them. This will make it less likely that they will get rid of you as you have extra protection - if they suspect and you don’t say you are not protected.
If they still plan on getting rid of you it will have to be 100% transparent situation otherwise they risk a tribunal. If you pass your probation and haven’t said anything as a previous poster said they can still get rid of you anyway within two years as long as the reason isn’t discriminatory. Pregnancy is a protected characteristic - but if it is a genuine situation then it is what is. However in a redundancy situation they would potentially have to offer you the full time position - as the roles are the same they would both be at risk and you would have first refusal (which might be worth it to you before going on leave to take the full time role all be it temporarily) but this is only the case if you have said you are pregnant- after the fact is too late.

churchandstate Tue 12-Nov-19 16:37:23

I’d tell them. Your view is that they plan to fire you after your probation (although, that being the case, I don’t understand why they would need to wait until the end of your probation?). If that’s true, knowing you are pregnant might deter them. The risk is that they had no intention of firing you but knowing you are pregnant changes that, but you don’t seem to think that’s true so I would say telling them is the less risky strategy.

Andsoitisjust99 Tue 12-Nov-19 16:43:41

I think you are much better off telling them. Probation means almost nothing. Up to two years they can get rid of you for any (non-descriminatory) reason. If you tell them then they will think much more carefully. If they guess but you don’t tell them, they are far more likely to get rid of you, since there is no come back on them.

Doyoumind Tue 12-Nov-19 16:46:51

I would get plenty of evidence to show you are doing a good job and then tell them a month or two down the line. They can still get rid of you and blame it on you not doing a good job rather than being pregnant, which is why the evidence is important, but they can't fire you for being pregnant.

Molly2010 Tue 12-Nov-19 17:07:01

I wouldn’t tell them. Only because I think they won’t guess.
If you tell them and then they end your probation for another reason you’ll always think it was because of the pregnancy.
Are you seriously going to try and bring a case against them if you tell them and they let you go at the end of the probation for another reason? When you consider the time, cost and energy that would involve it wouldn’t be worth it.

AJPTaylor Tue 12-Nov-19 17:09:49

If you tell them they are less likely to sack you for fear of you bringing a claim for discrimination. I personally would tell them sooner.

doubleshotespresso Tue 12-Nov-19 17:23:35

OP Firstly CONGRATULATIONS!

Secondly- Please ignore some of the frightful advice on here upthread. You have no cover under probation or in the absence of two years service.

Please tell them of your pregnancy IN WRITING first thing tomorrow. And keep asking for feedback etc, any ignored messages will only go in your favour later down the line if you receive nothing of substance.

Best of luck x

mumwon Tue 12-Nov-19 17:31:55

many women don't tell anybody until they are over 12 weeks - not just work - after all you could be like I use to be - no symptoms & totally erratic periods - I was moving house in my 3rd (!!!) pregnancy & lost track until I thought to myself that my trousers were getting tight - did some calculations, went to dr & I was 12 weeks pregnant … you could afford to wait for a few weeks & get written confirmation in the meantime - 6 weeks is very early & as stated its winter start wearing baggy clothing now!

Di11y Tue 12-Nov-19 17:33:36

if there's not enough work they're not sacking you. they're making a position redundant. if you and the fulltimer are doing the same role you'd get first refusal if you're pregnant (but prob the FT role), so would you consider taking a ft position until mat leave to bump up your mat pay?

Noroof Tue 12-Nov-19 17:36:46

I'd tell them asap... now even in an email that'll be date stamped. They might think twice about getting rid if you

WorldEndingFire Tue 12-Nov-19 17:48:01

Please join a trade union. You can find out more about your rights, enshrined in law, here:

www.tuc.org.uk/resource/pregnancy-and-maternity-discrimination-enote

And here

pregnantthenscrewed.com/

Find out what kind of union will suit you here - you will never fight an employment battle alone with the union behind you (the emotional support this brings cannot be overstated) and will have recourse to free advice and legal representation in the event that you need it - priceless support.

www.tuc.org.uk/join-union

Elieza Tue 12-Nov-19 17:48:11

I’d be wearing baggy clothes one day and then something tighter the next so there were no rumours. Until the tighter things were too obvious and the bump was showing. Then baggy stuff all the time. By which time they will be used to your flowy clothes and baggy winter jumpers and wouldn’t notice you no longer wore tighter clothes. Start now.

They can bin you for another reason and pretend it’s not pregnancy related when it actually is. I’d wait until your probation is up. At which point you’ll be only 14 weeks. That’s fair enough to tell them then. Some people have such erratic periods they dont notice until then anyway.

DuckyGoLightly Tue 12-Nov-19 17:48:19

Being pregnant gives you extra protection here.

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