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Told I will be sacked if I fall pregnant

(50 Posts)
Cmh1592 Thu 22-Dec-16 07:41:54

I've recently found out im nearly 7 weeks pregnant! So happy! I'm a little worried with work though. It will be my two years end of Feb 2017. My boss said to me in my interview almost 2 years ago "you're not planning on having kids are you" at that time I wasn't. Now all I've had in the last 2 years is "if you fall pregnant we will take you to the job centre ourselves" please someone help me! I want to make them aware of my situation now as it's starting to stress me out and upset me thinking about it. What can I do?

GentlyGentlyOhDear Thu 22-Dec-16 07:46:16

Do not tell them about your pregnancy until after you have been there over two years!
They sound hideous sad

StealthPolarBear Thu 22-Dec-16 07:49:54

They aren't allowed to sack you for being pregnant!

StealthPolarBear Thu 22-Dec-16 07:50:24

I don't suppose you have any of these in writing, or where witnesses would hear?

DinosaursRoar Thu 22-Dec-16 07:52:35


Tell them after your 2 years, preferably after 12 week scan when you should have a better idea of due dates, although I'd go as late as possible before telling them. Be prepared for them to be difficult.

StealthPolarBear Thu 22-Dec-16 07:53:03

I assume you're in England?
Congratulations on your pregnancy by the way.

StealthPolarBear Thu 22-Dec-16 07:53:27

No, tell then whenever you want but in writing.

LunaLoveg00d Thu 22-Dec-16 07:53:37

It doesn't matter how long you have been there - protection from being sacked because of a pregnancy starts on Day 1 of your employment as it falls under discrimination legislation.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 22-Dec-16 07:54:48

No they cannot sack you for that, not and stay the right side of employment law anyway! In fact, there may be a case for constructive dismissal if you feel you have to leave because of it as well.

Some years ago I worked in an office environment, just a few people there. I became pregnant, not an issue - but a joking comment was made to one of the other women in the office, who had very recently got married herself, that she wasn't "allowed" to get pregnant! (It may have had a serious undertone but it was done in a lighthearted fashion so I don't know).
Anyway, the woman chose to leave, got another job elsewhere, all good - but then she fell pregnant before being in that job for 13weeks, which did something negative to her eligibility for mat leave etc.
Because of this, she brought a case of constructive dismissal against our employer.
It went to tribunal, and was resolved with them making a "good will" payment, without accepting fault - but it could have got very nasty.

So your boss is already at fault for having made that comment in the first place - don't entirely know what would happen next, but he'd definitely fall foul of the employment law if he either sacked you or made you so uncomfortable that you felt you had to leave.

Newtoday Thu 22-Dec-16 07:55:51

Illegal. They have nothing! You can announce your pregnancy after your 2 years and get on with enjoying it!

Crumbs1 Thu 22-Dec-16 07:58:05

Simply outrageous - he's teasing, no? One of those men who pretends to be gruff and sexist but doesn't actually mean it?
It's not permissible in law to sack someone on grounds of pregnancy and you don't have to wait two years - the law applies now.
Register your concerns formally but in confidence with the HR department before you tell him. If too small for HR department record concerns with union rep or the CAB. That way, if he was serious, you have a record of intent.

mudandmayhem01 Thu 22-Dec-16 07:59:45

You don't have to tell your employer until 15 weeks before your due date, but you might like to so earlier as you are entitled to time off for appointments. If he does sack you, you will have a very strong legal case which will cost your horrible employer a lot of money. He probably already knows this and was just trying to intimidate you.

welshweasel Thu 22-Dec-16 07:59:58

As above. I'd still wait til the 2 years is up before saying anything though.

Cmh1592 Thu 22-Dec-16 08:00:59

Yeah I live in the U.K. It's because it's a family run business, they don't want to "pay for that" as they've made it clear a few times. Thank you all everyone. It's making me so upset. The thing is the people I work with also know my friends and my family etc word will get to my boss so quickly. No matter how many people I say "don't tell anyone" I haven't even told my family yet

Cmh1592 Thu 22-Dec-16 08:01:50

It's a women confused

greenfolder Thu 22-Dec-16 08:04:32

Its irrelevant what they want. Its the law! They cannot avoid paying you basic maternity pay and they have to keep a job for you. Else crack on and sue them!

BikeRunSki Thu 22-Dec-16 08:04:43

Don't say anything until your 2 years are up! Invest in a waterfall cardigan for the next few weeks a d pretend you've over indulged in mince pies!

In the meantime, ring Maternity Action's advice line.

And congratulations 😄

BikeRunSki Thu 22-Dec-16 08:07:50

As others have said, you are legally entitled to paid maternity leave, but Maternity Action may be able to advise you on how to open commas with your employers.

Cmh1592 Thu 22-Dec-16 08:08:35

I will do thank you. Maybe a stupid question but whys the 2 year point better? X

johendy Thu 22-Dec-16 08:11:29

I agree, don't say anything till you've got 2 years. Legally they can't discriminate for gender/pregnancy at any stage in your service, but employers are often less brave (stupid) after 2 years.

Start building your file of evidence now - hopefully you'll never need it, but it might alleviate some stress if you know you're prepared if things go bad.

For your whole time with them, print out any performance appraisal documents you have. Or any emails complementing your work - from bosses, colleagues, clients etc. Then you'll be able to show that across the 2 years there were no performance issues, so if they try that angle it'll be linked to pregnancy, as their views will change at the same time as your announcement. Also take notes of any comments that might be discriminatory. Put down the comment, who said it, context, date, time & witnesses. Do it in detail from this point forward. Also think back and make as detailed notes as you can about previous convents. Make sure you've got your job description, and if your job has evolved while you've been there, any evidence about that - then if they try to change your job after announcing, you might have evidence that the change is linked.

Often collecting all this makes people feel in control, more confident and less vulnerable - so they're braver if their employer tries anything stupid. Then, if you need to refer to a stack of evidence during a difficult conversation, they'll see how prepared you are and may be less stupid. And absolute worst case, you'll be prepared for a tribunal claim. Though in reality if they are stupid about it, you'll use your evidence to negotiate an exit package as got won't want to go back anyway!

Know that you are protected and start building your evidence now, just in case.

Good luck.

MercuryInRetrograde Thu 22-Dec-16 08:14:41

The gov pays anyway!
I didnt twll my bosses til 18 weeks.
Was so scared. They reacted l8ke id told them i was having a sex change. Awful that they/employers can make you feel so bad about something their own mothers, wives, cousins and sisters would have been wished well for.

johendy Thu 22-Dec-16 08:15:02

You have much greater protecting after 2 years of service, eg for unfair dismissal. Some employers interpret this as being able to get away with anything within 2 years. But you are protected from discrimination from day 1.

greenfolder Thu 22-Dec-16 08:16:08

It does not suprise me that this is a family business. My ddad always said with a family firm you are treated as taking food out of their kids mouths.

HuckfromScandal Thu 22-Dec-16 08:20:00

If they discriminate against you or sack you for being pregnant, you can take them to an employment tribunal, and it doesn't matter about the 2 year rule in an instance of Sex based discrimination (which this would be)
However - the Tory government changed the law meaning that you need to pay to lodge an ET.
£1200 (rough estimate)
You would have this reimbursed if your case is successful.

Good luck.
What sector do you work in? It may be worth looking a joining a trade union.

Cmh1592 Thu 22-Dec-16 08:28:36

It's a little electronic cigarette shop. I work a lot by myself. Very busy store and I've built a good friendship with a lot of my regular customers! I just know how quick news gets around. It takes one person to start and it will get to my boss. For example my sister knows a lot of them. Or it takes one friend to put something on the old Facebook and that'll be it! That's the thing I get on so so well with everyone I work with. My boss thinks the world of me and is always singing my praises. But the whole falling pregnant thing has baffled me! Me and my other half were going to tell our families Xmas day, just for the little support and excitement of it be Xmas time. But I just know how quickly it will spread. Brothers girlfriends etc are the biggest gossips ever!

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