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Lied to work about being pregnant!!!

(22 Posts)
Pekka Sun 24-Jul-11 21:08:58

I have started a temp job in June, the contract is for 3 months. 2 weeks after I started, I found out I was about 4 weeks pregnant. One of my colleagues has since gone on maternity leave, and the boss is constantly telling me I mustn't get pregnant, and has asked if my boyfriend and I are planning to get married etc. We are in fact getting married in September, but I told my boss we have no such plans and that I'm not pregnant.

Now they want to extend my contract until end of next year. I am planning to tell them about the pregnancy once they officially offer me an extension. My problem is, I have so far denied the pregnancy and marriage intentions. I'm worried the boss and the rest of the team will resent me, once they find out. I have miscarried before, at around 4 months, so I was hoping to keep the pregnancy to myself until then, but I don't think that would be fair on my employer. My employer is a HUGE institution, so I'm sure they'll find a replacement for me quickly, I just don't want to work for 5-6 months in a bad atmosphere.

What should I do? Should I tell them about pregnancy even before the offer? Or can I keep quiet until 15 weeks before due date? My boss is quite moody and very scary sad

SingingSands Sun 24-Jul-11 21:13:07

I thought employers were not allowed to ask if you were planning to marry or get pregnant? Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will be along shortly.

Sounds like your immediate boss is annoyed at your predecessor going on mat leave and doesn't want the same to happen again, so was venting. I'm sure the "official" company stance will be different.

Could you talk to someone in HR?

Gastonladybird Sun 24-Jul-11 21:16:05

I think by law you are protected from
Discrimination link.
that said if said something and they don't offer you extension although In wrong , it would be hard and time consuming to argue.
So my advice is to wait a bit (not til 26 weeks) and tell them after extension.

fatandknackered Sun 24-Jul-11 21:16:30

Hmm, I can sympathise with your dilemma. At work on Friday, I was told by a senior colleague that I needed to move away from "pregnancy corner" (he is obv unaware I am 7 weeks pg). Made me feel awkward, but your situation sounds a lot worse in that your boss is actually going on about you not getting pg... sounds like he/she is in the dark ages.

If I were you I think I would keep schtum for now, esp given you have previously had a mc, ie you have lots of good reasons for keeping your pg a secret right now!

Given you work for a large company, you could technically complain to HR if you get a bad reaction from your boss when you do tell them - large companies don't like being sued and presumably your boss will also be aware of this?

Also I think you are right about the "15 weeks before" deadline although having had 2DCs I don't know how anyone can hide it that long.

Hope it all goes well for you!

Gastonladybird Sun 24-Jul-11 21:17:15

And singing sands right re not asking -you aren't allowed to for exactly reason your boss is so nicely demostrating (ie harassing staff).

Gastonladybird Sun 24-Jul-11 21:18:45

And agree re 26 weeks being a dream (stares at 12 week paunch and remembers how long it took to look like this first time).

Pekka Sun 24-Jul-11 21:34:09

Thank you everyone for your answers! I don't think I can hide the pregnancy much longer, I have been eating for two ever since I got a positive on the test :D

I think I will tell my boss when she offers me the extension. That seems fair.

MovingAndScared Mon 25-Jul-11 21:10:39

Make sure the offer is in writing if you do tell them

Pekka Sun 28-Aug-11 13:55:08

So much has happened in one month, which has complicated the situation. I am currently on 2 week sick leave after an emergency operation. My boss said they will pay me for these 2 weeks, even though I work through an agency. The condition was that I return after my sick leave and sign the extension contract, which I was intending to do anyways.
I still haven't told them I'm pregnant, and I feel like once I tell them, they must really resent me, as they are relying on me being there for 1 year. I would be covering somebody else's maternity leave. It's getting harder and harder to tell them about my pregnancy.

Has anybody else been in this situation? Would you accept a maternity cover role or 1 year contract if you are pregnant? Can they withdraw the offer and make me pay back the wages paid to me during my sick leave? I know they wouldn't have offered the role to me if they had known about my pregnancy. They didn't invite a single mother to an interview, simply because she was a single mother.

KatieMiddleton Sun 28-Aug-11 16:10:44

Gosh they sound horrible. Why do you want to work there?

FWIW I would continue to keep schtum and if when you tell them you're pregnant they kick up a big fuss about your dishonesty or whatever just say that you were worried about being discriminated against it you said and so you thought it best all round to keep quiet.

Document everything just in case. You have no protection against unfair dismissal in the first year unless your dismissal is found to be a result of discrimination as outlined in the protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010 (of which maternity is a protected characteristic).

You being a temp is irrelevant. You are entitled to all the same employment rights as any other employee unless you are actually employed by an agency but from what you've said that doesn't sound like the case.

Get everything in writing (ie the agreement to pay sick leave, the new contract etc etc), sent to your home if necessary while you're off. If they then try to take this away when they find out you are pregnant (and take it away because you are pregnant) they are breaking the law.

KatieMiddleton Sun 28-Aug-11 16:12:52

Forgot to add your remedy in that situatation would be to take out a grievance outlining your complaint and if they still refuse to pay/renew your contract you can put in a claim to have your case heard at an employment tribunal.


Pekka Sun 04-Sep-11 21:24:16

I really don't want to work there, but we need the money. I am going back to work tomorrow and I am dreading it sad I will tell them about the pregnancy tomorrow.

Lougle Sun 04-Sep-11 21:48:28

You have NO OBLIGATION to inform them of your pregnancy until you are 25 weeks pregnant.

BigHairyGruffalo Mon 05-Sep-11 20:30:44

Any update?

Gillg57 Mon 05-Sep-11 23:41:54

I'm going to stand out a bit here but morally I wouldn't accept the extended contract. It is to cover for a set period of time and you know you can't do that.

Northernlurkerr Mon 05-Sep-11 23:43:56

Don't tell them about the pregnancy unless you want your contract to end! They sound awful btw.

ChippingIn Mon 05-Sep-11 23:46:50

What did you end up doing?

Pekka Tue 06-Sep-11 19:30:15

Thank you everyone for your comments and suggestions!

My boss is on holiday, so I told her manager that I am pregnant. She said that as everyone has been impressed with my work, she would imagine they will still offer the contract to me. But then she said she has to speak with my line manager, to check whether they still want me. I guess I will find out next week, when my boss returns.

ChippingIn Tue 06-Sep-11 20:13:23

Oh well, haing been honest will take the stress off of you. I hope it works out well for you - do let us know!!

Lougle Wed 07-Sep-11 07:50:04

Pekka, if they decide not to offer the contract on grounds of your pregnancy, then they are breaking the law. I suggest that you email the manager, and ask her to confirm that they have been happy with your work, but that she intends to check if they still want to offer you the contract given the news that you are pregnant?

They really can't take your pregnancy into account AT ALL.

laracroft2001 Wed 07-Sep-11 16:55:13

employers are not allowed to ask if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. Sex discrimination and you could have a field day in an ET. You dont need to legally tell your employers you are pregnant until 15 weeks before due date. Though you could tell them and say 'but I'm sure as my employers that will not affect anything.

Pekka Mon 26-Sep-11 19:25:01

I told my boss about pregnancy, and got the job. I got married last weekend, and told my boss about the wedding this morning. She got upset with me and said "Why didn't you tell me?" I tried to explain that I didn't want to make a fuss about it. She replied "I don't want to talk about this" and walked away. I tried to apologise to her later on in the day, but she refused to talk to me. I didn't mean to offend her by not telling about the wedding. I did tell her last week that we will get married before the baby is born.

I'm quite shy, and the boss is total opposite of me. When I started working there, she said I'm too quiet and that it'll be a long summer working with me sad I was upset by that comment but I didn't say anything.

Has anybody been in this situation? How can I make things better? She won't talk to me, so should I talk to her boss? If so, what should I say? I feel like her reaction is unreasonable, but I would like to keep my job and also clear the air.

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