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Is it ever okay to apply for jobs when pregnant?

(18 Posts)
Londonmamabychance Wed 20-Apr-16 13:56:09

I am currently just 5 weeks pregnant with child no. 2. The pregnancy has come as a bit of a surprise, and much sooner than I thought it would, as we tried for 7 months before DD was conceived (she's now 18 months). We knew we wanted her to have a sibling, and given that we're not super young, decided to start trying, thinking that it would probably take some time. My thought/fears was that it could even take years, given various factors of mild PCO and other recent complications, which made me think I wouldn't be that fertile. But lo and behold, the first week without conception, and boom, two lines on the pregnancy test. So, of course I am over the moon (although it's still early days, so still holding of the final acceptance and realisation until the 12-week scan...) more than anything, but I have to admit that I have not completely thought through what a second pregnancy and child would entail. This may sound weird, but I suppose that my fear of not being able to have another child was so strong that I just decided to start trying, without looking at the implications f a possible immediate pregnancy in detail.

The ting is that I am unhappy in my current job, mainly because I have been it for 5 years, have learned all I can in the position and the company structure offers absolutely no means of advancement from that particular position. Further, the working environment is difficult. So I wanted to move on for quite a while, but then that was delayed by my first pregnancy, I took a year of maternity leave, and have now been back for 6 months, feeling more fed up than ever and realising even more that I need to move on if I don't want to completely stagnate. If I stay in my current job during the pregnancy, I guess I could apply for new jobs from the maternity leave, but the thing is that I tried that at the end of my last maternity leave, and found that many places were awkward about me applying or maternity leave, they acted as if I was applying from a place "outside the game" and regarded me as not serious once they found out, and I also found it very difficult to have time to write applications with a child at home all the time, whereas I have a bit more free time while DD is in nursery and the second one is still not here. I am worried that if I stay in the job, I will never be able to move on, and will get stuck in my current job forever, or at least for a very long time.

But my dilemma is...isn't it seen as morally wrong to apply for jobs and go to interviews while pregnant and not revealing it? If I revealed it, chances are, I wouldn't get hired (I know it's illegal to discriminate, but they can always say other candidates were more qualified and it's impossible to prove that the reason you weren't picked is pregnancy) and if I don't reveal it, wouldn't it just be a very bad start with a new employer? Anyone has experience with this, or with applying for jobs from maternity leave?

Londonmamabychance Wed 20-Apr-16 13:58:40

* contraception, not conception ; )

foragogo Wed 20-Apr-16 14:01:51

you will get al sorts of responses on this. My own personal take is that whilst it legally of course it is absolutely fine to do so, why not, morally I think it's maybe a bit off, especially/only if you work for a smaller company? and I say that as someone that has had 3 just under one year maternity leaves (from a large company). Having said that, you are only right at the beginning of the pregnancy so wouldn't be going off for what, 7/8 months. Plenty of people (men) take jobs and only stay for 6 months.

Gotheftosleep Wed 20-Apr-16 14:20:29

I think it depends on what maternity benefits you'd lose - it takes 2 years to qualify for maternity pay, doesn't it?

foragogo Wed 20-Apr-16 14:25:01

6 months where I worked

Gotheftosleep Wed 20-Apr-16 14:28:19

That's for statutory maternity pay isn't it foragogo? I think most companies specify 2 years for enhanced maternity pay.

Londonmamabychance Wed 20-Apr-16 14:28:28

gotheftosleep, OMG, didn't even think of that!! does it?? I work for an international company right now on a weird contract, half UK law, half not, (all legal, just weird) and I got 4 months full pay and then the remainder of the SMP for the rest of the time...and it didn't take anytime to qualify, would have got it even if I went off on maternity leave 6 months after I started! (as it was, it was more than 3 years after I started...)

pitterpatterrain Wed 20-Apr-16 14:36:38

Yes it's fine to apply and change roles. No problem there.

As per PP anything beyond basic stat pay may take time to qualify for - at my company it takes several years with max allowance after 4 years tenure.

My SIL had to return at 3 months due to this as she changed job then found out she was pregnant, so something you may need to consider.

ijustwannadance Wed 20-Apr-16 14:46:09

No issues with you applying for jobs although I doubt there are many companies, especially small businesses who would take on an already pregnant woman who they would then have to replace for 6-12 months.
If It was me I would wait until on ml to make a fresh start.

Londonmamabychance Wed 20-Apr-16 14:48:50

See your points about not qualifying for enhanced mat leave pay, but do you, (and all of you) think companies are keen to hire someone on mat leave? Maybe it's just me who felt, last time around (admittedly only went to two interviews) that felt that people acted negatively when it came out I was on mat leave

MummyBex1985 Wed 20-Apr-16 14:59:48

I don't see a problem with it personally!

But you wouldn't qualify for SMP if you moved jobs whilst already pregnant. And four months full pay is a pretty good deal!

Personally I'd just take my mat leave at the first possible opportunity. You might have to return temporarily to avoid having to pay back your enhanced payments but it probably won't be for that long and that would probably be the better time to move jobs. JMO of course.

Londonmamabychance Wed 20-Apr-16 15:16:05

MummyBex, I think you are right, I am just impatient to get out of this job, but guess my best bet is to be grown up about it and stay ; )

foragogo Wed 20-Apr-16 15:19:43

I owrked for a US bank in London and it was 6m to qualify for 6m full pay and 3m statutory but that was 5y ago and depends on the company I guess.

HarlotBronte Wed 20-Apr-16 19:27:11

Yes of course it is, although you're going to get a load of guff about how women like you are the cause of pregnancy related discrimination.

But in your case, I'd be thinking more about whether it's practical. You have a job with very decent maternity pay, most women only get SMP so that's a good gig. You'd be swapping it for £130 a week. Unless you earn a very low salary, that's going to cost you something in the four figures.

You don't mention a specific vacancy, but let's say you apply for something around now, get an interview in a fortnight, accept and give a month's notice. That's taking you to 11 or 12 weeks when you start, longer if there's any pissing about with references, criminal records checks etc. It's your second pregnancy, you show earlier. You may well have a visible bump on your start date. In a job where you've no employment rights, unlike now, and you'd be naive to think women don't get the boot for being pregnant all the time. I'd have to be pretty sure of my value to an employer to take that gamble. I also wouldn't fancy all the stress of learning the ropes in a new job whilst dealing with being pregnant and having a toddler, even in the unlikely event that everyone in the new job was fine with it.

I've applied for new jobs both times I was on ML, and had a number of offers. I was open about it, one of them was from an old work pal anyway in fact, but there's no reason you actually have to disclose it at all. Personally I actually found the job application process easier when on ML than not, I had time to sort of step back from the workplace and thing about what I wanted, but I'm aware that's a minority view.

sauerjohansen Wed 20-Apr-16 20:12:26

I'm so glad you've told me about the fact I wouldn't be entitled to salary and potentially not even SMP of I changed jobs now, I had no clue, (I'm not British, so a lot of this stuff is new to me, rules being different where I'm from). Very helpful. Also that you remind me that the deal I have is pretty good. I think I just need to bide my time and stay in this job and perhaps apply for new jobs from mat leave or shortly after.

KitKat1985 Fri 22-Apr-16 12:47:42

I'm in a not dissimilar position too at 8 weeks pregnant and I'm feeling fed up in my current job where I've been nearly 4 years. However whilst I know it's legal, I would feel a bit mean applying for jobs when I'm intending to go on maternity leave after only a few months; plus there's a risk I would lose my maternity benefits that I've accrued in my current job. For now I'm sticking where I am therefore. Focus on the fact you've only got to get through a few months and then you can have your maternity leave, and deal with work changes when you get back I'd say. Plus you'd also have a better idea then about your childcare costs etc and how that will impact on your decision.

CrushedCan Sat 23-Apr-16 12:43:33

Stick it out for another 8 months get your maternity pay then when it's time to go 'back' just leave and then you can focus on your new job/career . The chances are, any new positions will have a certain time for probation so may let you go without reason if they find out you're pregnant (even though it's illegal!)

3boys3dogshelp Sat 23-Apr-16 12:51:07

You might find people are less worried about you being on your second maternity leave than your first. Most families have 2 children reasonably close together, so the chances were high (last time you applied) of you going off again in the next year or two. Now the chances are higher that you'll stay at work. It's not legal to take this into account but I bet interviewers do...

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