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How on earth do I tell my boss I'm pregnant?

(20 Posts)
lastarlettefilante Wed 29-Oct-14 15:28:53

I'm just gone 12 weeks, had my first scan, and it's suddenly all very real to me! I know I'm going to have to tell my boss soon, and I don't know how.

To make things more complicated, I've only been at work for a month and my contract is only a year-long contract as I'm a maternity cover for someone else! I'm really enjoying the job but I'm dreading the reaction I'll get as by the time I have to leave /go on maternity, I'll have worked there for 6.5 months. I feel like my boss will be thinking "agh, the maternity cover's on maternity!" And I'll never get hired again!

Did anyone have to tell their employer when they found out they were pregnant? I found out just before I had my interview with them, but didn't mention it of course during the interview, or when they offered me the job. It would be so much easier if I could just by-pass the issue of when I found out, but I have a feeling it'll come up.

Has anyone else been in the situation of having taken a job when they knew they were pregnant and how did they break the news? I'd be really grateful for any advice.

LuckyLopez Wed 29-Oct-14 15:31:55

I actually think it's really out of order that you took the job without telling then! Legally you're fine, but morally that's terribly and I think you should feel bad about telling them! If it was a regular job fine- but you knew it was cover needed for just a year.

amyhamster Wed 29-Oct-14 15:33:58

Could you wait a bit longer to tell them? Maybe 16 weeks so you've been in the job a bit longer

CatKisser Wed 29-Oct-14 15:40:49

I think you've done the wrong thing in taking a one year job, knowing you'd be going off on maternity. I really hope it's not a teaching job because that kind of disruption can be a nightmare, particularly for a tricky class.

lastarlettefilante Wed 29-Oct-14 15:43:07

Amyhamster, I was thinking about that possibility, not sure if I'd be showing then. And luckylopez, it was actually initially advertised as a six month cover, so when I found out just before the interview I thought 'ok fine' but then on my first day they stated they had extended it to a year as they'd talked with the woman on mat leave. I didn't know what to say at that point and exercised my legal right not to say anything and take some time to think. But thanks for judging so promptly anyway.

LuckyLopez Wed 29-Oct-14 15:48:32

Why are you so put out that I judged promptly? You wrote an op with all the facts you want people to know, and I responded with my opinion. Absolutely you don't have to care about what I think of your morals.

lastarlettefilante Wed 29-Oct-14 16:00:40

You're absolutely right - I don't have to care what you think. I applied not knowing I was pregnant, and then when I realised I was pregnant I thought, ok, it's a six month contract anyway. And then I was blind-sided on my first day with the longer contract being offered. I'm not worried about my morals as I went into the job genuinely thinking it would work out. And I originally posted brief details - yes, so sue me. If you don't have any advice about how to tell your boss you're pregnant, then I don't think we have any more to say to each other.

lastarlettefilante Wed 29-Oct-14 16:02:18

And no I'm not in teaching. I'm a medical engineer.

bumblingbovine49 Wed 29-Oct-14 16:11:36

This happened where I worked once where a maternity leave replacement was hired to help me with a project. She was hired for 9 months and she announced she was pregnant within a month of joining. We ended up having to find someone to do the 3 months between her leaving and the original person returning. These things happen but I have to say it was a real pain for me and the strain of having to train two new people and in many cases do their work, for a role where we were already chronically understaffed was actually the straw that broke the camel's back on that job for me. I ended up leaving shortly after the original person came back after maternity leave. However none of this was the fault of the temp cover who got and I never blamed them

Tell your boss as soon as possible so they can plan for it.

flowery Wed 29-Oct-14 16:12:11

"I actually think it's really out of order that you took the job without telling then!"

I'm intrigued. What difference would it have made if the OP had told them at the time of receiving the job offer as opposed to now?

OP you are just going to have to bite the bullet. Try and anticipate concerns your manager might have and be prepared for them. For example handover, completion of particular projects/tasks before you go, if that's applicable to your role.

In terms of when you told them, it's perfectly normal to wait until after 12 weeks and there is a reason for that, so don't feel bad.

stripedtortoise Wed 29-Oct-14 16:15:30

A similar thing happened to me with my first DC. Although not identical. I knew I was pregnant when I went for the interview but I was maybe, 8 weeks? And at that stage it seemed like such a long way off and I really needed the job. I was under no obligation to tell them something that was at that time none of their business and also, could have been something they used to discriminate against me. People may disagree with my morals, but again, quite honestly, I needed the job. Needless to say I got the job and I fitted in really well etc etc so when the time came for me to announce they were fantastic about it. I had only been there for a couple of months when I said I was expecting.
I was like you and really, REALLY worried about 'confessing' BUT I just asked for a meeting, said I was pregnant and they congratulated me and then went through all the usual protocol. It hasn't caused any bad feeling whatsoever. Everyone was thrilled for me. They wouldn't have to work very hard to work out that I was at least already pregnant when I joined the company.
Anyway. I still work there now after having had DC.

lastarlettefilante Wed 29-Oct-14 16:17:29

Flowery, I could kiss you. Thanks for some level-headed, sensible advice.

HaPPy8 Wed 29-Oct-14 16:18:01

You just need to to tell them - ask for a meeting, and tell them you are pregnant and when you are due. You will need to tell them by 25 weeks when you intend to take maternity leave. Its no more complicated than that and im not sure anyone can give you any more advice. I expect the boss will be a bit annoyed but at the end of the day you haven't done anything wrong - you obviously needed a job so you got one.

lastarlettefilante Wed 29-Oct-14 16:22:48

You too striped tortoise, really good to hear. I know my employers are usually good with mat leave (when I met my predecessor, she said they were fab, and men get paternity leave too) and I'm not bothered about whether or not I get paid mat leave -hubby's a human rights lawyer so we're ok - but I want to continue having a good relationship with my boss and the organisation. Although plenty of people in this particular organisation are on fixed term contracts, they usually manage to keep people on after they end, even if the contract was a maternity cover. So I would love to work with them long-term and don't want to scupper it by breaking news in the wrong way! I think calling a meeting and just being matter of fact with it is a good idea.

Babiecakes11 Wed 29-Oct-14 16:33:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

barmybunting Wed 29-Oct-14 16:57:23

First of all congratulations!

I was in this situation about 6 months ago, we are expecting DC1 in about two weeks. We moved in Jan, so I had to leave my permanent teaching job and find something else. I was offered a maternity cover teaching told mid Jan, which was to run end Feb-end Dec. I found out I was pregnant mid March, two weeks after I started the role.

Like you, I was nervous about telling them. I felt rather guilty, but we had been trying for about a year by that point and we were both over the moon.

I had planned to wait until I was about 16 weeks, but the day after my 12 week scan I decided I wanted to get it over and done with. I asked for a meeting with my boss, and worded it along the lines of "I wanted to let know know that I found out recently that I am pregnant. I am 12 weeks, and due mid Nov. I know this will cause inconveniences for you so I wanted to let you know as soon as possible." My boss was utterly lovely about it and the whole school supported me really well. I had one or two remarks about getting myself "knocked up" from a PTA member but beyond that, they couldn't have been more supportive.

One thing the headteacher said to me really stuck with me- "don't apologise, I am delighted for you. Remember that people leave temporary roles for a variety of reasons. You may have chosen to leave early as you had found a permanent job, or some other reason." That made me feel a lot better about telling him!

I would remember that bit, and word it as having found out recently, so they can't push you on when exactly. You were not obliged to tell them prior to taking the job. I realise it could be awkward for them with cover, but it could also have been awkward for you if the post ended early if the person you are covering for came back early. Try to anticipate any concerns/questions they may have and talk that through with them. If you can tell them sooner rather than later, I imagine they would appreciate the notice but try not to stress about it if you can.

lastarlettefilante Wed 29-Oct-14 17:43:09

Thanks everyone or your sensible and supportive replies! And thanks for reminding me about the reasons why people leave temporary positions, it was really useful to remind myself that pregnancy isn't the only reason! And yes, I did need the job; I recently finished a Masters and had had a year off work before that as I was caring for a family member with cancer (me and my horrible morals again!) and if I didn't get back into the job market soon I was afraid I'd be seen as unemployable. Nice to hear about how other people have handled the situation. I like the suggestion of 'recently found out'.

FastWindow Wed 29-Oct-14 17:49:19

Happened to me. Was fine, maternity girl came back, I left at 7 mo pg. I also got the maternity pay, but I was the right amount of pg at the correct time, which I dont think you are.

You request a meeting, say, I am expecting, I'm x weeks along. They can't ask when you found out, don't volunteer anything. But the earlier you tell them, then you will have the right to go to appointments, without having to lie.

Congratulations!!

NotAnotherNewNappy Wed 29-Oct-14 20:43:36

FGS don't let anybody make you feel guilty. Pregnant women have to eat, pay bills and afford a shelter over their heads too. I think you did the right thing as there is no guarantee how things will work out (with a early pregnancy or a temp contract) and it sounds like you needed this job.

Spindelina Thu 30-Oct-14 16:29:17

Congratulations! Just to help those morals along, do the role reversal. If a man had got your job, and now announced that his partner was pregnant, would anyone bat an eyelid?

These things happen. I applied for my current job, then got pregnant, then got interviewed and offered the job, then told them, then started at 25 weeks. It's been fine.

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