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Starting new job at 9wks pregnant - when to tell them

(18 Posts)
AnyHumanHearth Mon 19-Sep-11 10:44:55

I'm sure this has been covered many times before, so sorry.

I was made redundant over the summer and immediately started job hunting - I have been fortunate to find a great new role and start in early October. Two weeks after learning about the redundancy, and after I has applied for this new job, I discovered that I was pregnant. My husband and I are very pleased, but from a practical perspective the timing is unbelievably lousy!

I will be around 9 weeks when I start and had been planning to keep quiet about the pregnancy at least until after the 12 week scan, and potentially for another month or two if possible, hopefully giving me a chance to create a good impression before having to spill the beans. But a close friend who works in HR has said that if it's a job I value and hope to be in for the long term (it is - I will be returning after mat leave), then I should tell them up front before I start and hopefully they will appreciate my honesty.

I feel really bad as I would never have chosen to job hunt while pregnant and it is only because I was made redundant that I'm in this situation. As soon as we found out about the redundancy we decided to put TTC plans on hold temporarily - but by then it was obviously already too late! I also had a pretty rubbish time before I had my first child - a number of miscarriages etc - that means I'm reluctant to tell people any earlier than I have to.

So what do you advise - I know that legally I am not required to tell them before 25 weeks, but what is best in reality to make an awkward situation as manageable as possible?

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 19-Sep-11 11:43:41

I agree with your friend re telling up front and being honest.

From their point of view, they will feel duped if you dont as they are going to spend some time training you, getting you settled in and if you wait until 4/5 months pregnant to tell them they then have to start hunting all over again for cover with very little time to find somebody.

The trust will simply not be there if you wait and, although unlawful, if may make them think twice about future applicants.

items Mon 19-Sep-11 11:48:30

Agree also. I am in HR and agree that by having a conversation up front to state that although lousy timing, this has occurred and that you are still completely committed to the role now and in the future, it puts you in much better light. Waiting a few months will come across less positive. The best you could stretch it out is 12 weeks because you have a valid reason for holding until then but I wouldn't hold off any longer. If it s a decent department and company they will be supportive even if its a hassle for them. If not, then ask yourself if it is truly a company and culture you would want to be in for the longer term.
Good luck (and Congrats!!).

AnyHumanHearth Mon 19-Sep-11 12:51:22

Thanks both, much appreciated. As I said, I was coming at this from the point of view of wanting to have a chance to prove myself before telling them, but it really helps to have other perspectives. I think if I had already passed the 12 week stage, I wouldn't be questioning whether to tell them straight away or not, it all just feels so vulnerable being so early on.

From a practical perspective, should I be telling my HR contact, or my soon-to-be line manager? I get the feeling the HR contact is pretty junior, although very friendly. I don't have the email/phone number of my line manager as all interviews etc have been arranged through HR, but I'm sure I can find it if necessary.

It's a pretty big City firm, and they have bent over backwards to get me on board, both in terms of salary and giving me a degree of flexibility, so this is why I'm feeling particularly bad. They do know I already have a toddler, as we talked about this when discussing flexibility, so if they have put two and two together they might have guessed that another baby might be on the cards at some point - just not quite as imminently as this though!

flowery Mon 19-Sep-11 13:42:43

I'm curious. What does your friend in HR think would be added by you telling them before you start? What difference does she think it will make to them knowing before you walk in the door?

Personally I'd wait until 12 weeks as most people do anyway. You won't be judged at all for waiting until then and you will have at least developed some sort of relationship with your line manager and made a good impression. I wouldn't wait longer though.

AnyHumanHearth Mon 19-Sep-11 15:15:44

Hi Flowery - she just thinks it will help to build trust, rather than dropping a bombshell a few weeks after I arrive. Nothing tangible as far as I'm aware.

Gosh I wish I wasn't in this situation. I'm dreading telling them whenever I have to do it. Part of me thinks it might be easier to get it over with before I start, so that it's one less thing to worry about once I'm actually there. We have had an early scan and seen a heartbeat, but I once had very bad news at a 12 week scan so I find early pregnancy stressful anyway.

items Mon 19-Sep-11 15:33:44

At least you have reconciled you should tell them as soon as possible. Now its a question of before you start or after. I see your point about proving yourself but to be honest that takes a good few months anyway. Personal opinion only but i would wait until you start and tell your line manager (HR it becomes a little more formal). Even if first day, you can package it as you never guess what, not at all planned but am excited by it. This wont impact your work until the mat leave etc etc.

mrsbrooks Mon 19-Sep-11 16:59:46

I am currently 12 wks and have been in my job since may so am very nervous. Luckily my 6 month probation period got cut a 1 month and now have a full contract. I am planning to tell them at 6 months as this is how long you have to be in employment before they can give you maternity leave.

hairylights Mon 19-Sep-11 18:32:13

I agree with flowery . I wouldn't feel duped at all if a new employee waited til 12 weeks (I'm a CEO).

Impressed with the poster waiting til six weeks ... I was unable to physically hide my pregnancy past 14!

hairylights Mon 19-Sep-11 18:32:42

Sorry I meant six months.

flowery Mon 19-Sep-11 19:37:34

If you're starting in a couple of weeks anyway I think as your potential line manager who you at present presumably barely know, I would find it slightly strange if you rang me up out of the blue to inform me of your pregnancy tbh.

I really don't think I would then trust you more than if you had a face to face chat with me very soon after joining (after 12 weeks) and mentioned it.

And apart from anything else, in your shoes I wouldn't want to give the impression to a future employer that it was relevant enough for them to need to know before starting, if that makes sense.

catsareevil Mon 19-Sep-11 19:55:49

I agree that it would be fine to wait until 12 weeks. I cant see what is to be gained for you by telling them earlier than that.

Indaba Mon 19-Sep-11 22:08:54

agree with 12 weeks

fluffles Mon 19-Sep-11 22:13:33

i'd wait till 12 weeks, and till you actuall know your line manager.. rather than tell them before you start.

but on the flip side i would not try to conceal it beyond 12 weeks.

just go after 12 weeks and say you know it's really bad timing, you didn't know about it when you applied, but you didn't really want to say anything till after you knew the pregnancy was progressing healthily (due to previous history). as a line manager i'd understand that.

stella1w Tue 20-Sep-11 00:14:30

after 12 weeks but before you start to show - with my first pg this was FIVE MONTHS, with second pg this was er... about eight weeks!!.

AnyHumanHearth Tue 20-Sep-11 09:12:40

Thanks again everyone. I think I'm now settled on telling them straight after 12 week scan.

I didn't start to show obviously until about 23 weeks last time, but am under no illusion that I'd get away with it for that long this time round, even if I wanted to go down that route! I know I won't qualify for SMP or any enhanced maternity pay, but should be able to claim Mat Allowance.

hairylights Tue 20-Sep-11 11:36:42

Very best of luck - I'm sure it'll be fine. (I'm still awe struck by those not showing at 23 weeks! I feel and look huge!).

AnyHumanHearth Tue 20-Sep-11 12:10:37

Ah, but Hairy, I'm tall (think that helps disguise the extra pounds) and it was the middle of winter so I was wearing plenty of layers! Thanks again!

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