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What to tell agencies/prospective employers re maternity leave

(3 Posts)
maggiethemagpie Sat 15-Feb-14 19:17:47

posted this in the back to work section but didn't get any responses so thought i'd see if I could get any replies on here:
I'm on maternity leave but cannot return to my original job. I am therefore looking for a new job. I am reluctant to say I am on maternity leave when speaking to agencies (most of the jobs I am applying for are via specialist agency) as I'm worried this will make me a less attractive candidate. I've not been working for around 8 months now and they may think I'll be less flexible - all the usual prejudices.

Anyway I don't see how anyone will know I am on maternity leave if I don't tell them as I am in continuous employment. If I got another job I would just resign from my old job in the normal way and give notice. My employer only gives references that state the date employed from/to and job title, these are produced centrally, so it wouldn't come up on a reference.

Do you think I should make it clear that I am on mat leave or try to just get by without mentioning it? I won't lie if I'm actually asked, but let's face it no one is going to ask me if they have no reason to suspect I am.

I know a lot of employers wouldn't care that I'm on maternity leave, but some might see it as a negative, and if it's down to me and another candidate it might just be enough to lose me the job.

What would you do? I have an interview with an agency next week.

Fiveleaves Sat 15-Feb-14 20:04:52

I wouldn't bother. Mat leave is still employment. No need to mention. I am the reverse. Due in early July and looking for work due to end of contract. I'm having to tell agencies that I can only work until mid June...and only part time due to childcare for current DC...a much trickier situation! Very little part time and short term...

maggiethemagpie Sat 15-Feb-14 21:35:28

thanks. I just know that when I meet her she will be asking what I've been up to/am I busy at the mo etc and I will feel bad lying! But I know it may count against me if I'm o mat leave, not only because of the gap but because the kind of roles I am going for involve a lot of travel, not a problem for me as my partner will be SAHD, but they may think it will be. Sexism at its finest! the last job I applied for, I did not even mention that I had a child until after I had started, just in case it put them off.

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