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Flowerybeanbag and other HR people, some advice needed pretty please!

(44 Posts)
LittleMyDancing Sun 06-Jul-08 19:53:23

So this particular bridge hasn't actually materialised yet, but I really want to know what to do if it does.

Context - after DS was born, I was made redundant so had to find a new job. Found a one year maternity cover contract which ended in March. While doing this contract (all went very well, they were talking about keeping me etc etc) I got pregnant and the baby was due in June - so the plan was to finish contract and have a couple of months off before DC2 arrived.

Unfortunately we lost the baby at 20 weeks, work were great, very supportive etc, so then finished the contract and found myself out of work (they didn't get the budget they were hoping for to keep me on).

Have been looking ever since - now the same place have got a job going, another one year contract, and I've applied for it. Hoping to hear about an interview this week. The thing is, there's a very slim chance I could be pg again, and if I was, obviously I wouldn't be able to finish this contract if they offered it to me.

So when do I tell them, if I am? At the first interview? After I start the job, if they offer it to me? I don't want to piss them off by not telling them, as I definitely won't be able to complete the contract. But then again, I don't want to put them in the position of worrying that I might shout discrimination if they don't give it to me after I tell them.

Dilemma, please help! What would an employer look favourably upon?

LittleMyDancing Sun 06-Jul-08 20:02:52

bump

LittleMyDancing Sun 06-Jul-08 20:09:50

bumpety bump, anyone out there?

thelittlestbadger Sun 06-Jul-08 20:14:20

You don't have to tell them - I think until around 24 weeks when you hand in your MATB1 and they can't be upset with you if you don't tell them until then although they may guess obviously.

You don't have to tell them at this interview and I would suggest you don't. If it were me, I would be tempted to tell after I'd been offered the job but before I started IYSWIM so they have plenty of time to prepare and as much notice as possible.

llareggub Sun 06-Jul-08 20:18:42

Personally, I would say nothing at all. You are protected from being discriminated against by a raft of employment legislation.

I've tried to word this in all sorts of ways and it all comes out wrong, so I'll just stumble through and hope no one gets offended.

I've been trying to conceive on and off for 5 years now, and in that time I've had 3 pregnancies. One of those pregnancies has led to my gorgeous little boy, who is upstairs sleeping.

I took the view that at any point over the last 5 years I could be pregnant. But the physical condition of pregnancy should not be used as a decision making factor in offering a job.

Therefore, you need not say anything at all until you have had a pregnancy confirmed and are in post. There is nothing to compel you to do so earlier.

Obviously, no one can legislate against them being annoyed with you.

Good luck with the job and with getting DC2.

LittleMyDancing Sun 06-Jul-08 20:19:19

The thing is, I know I don't have to tell them, but wouldn't it make them a bit negative towards me? If it was a permanent job, then it would be different but it's only a one year contract, and I wouldn't even make it to the end of that year iyswim.

Also, I felt that they were a bit pissed off with me when I fell pg last time, as I managed to time it (accidentally) so they would have had to pay my SMP as my qualifying week was one of the last weeks in the contract.

I really like this company and they've been good to me, so I feel I ought to be straight with them, but also want a job!

callmeovercautious Sun 06-Jul-08 20:20:50

Very sorry to hear about your loss LittleMyDancing.

Honestly? You have no obligation to say anything yet. So don't tell them yet. If you are saying a "slim chance" that suggests to me that you don't know. Plead ignorance. However I would tell them once you pass 12 week scan point. H&S wise it is always best to let your employer know as early as possible.

Personally now I have had one with my employer I would tell my boss in confidence quite early as he was great last time. You say they were good last time as well.

llareggub Sun 06-Jul-08 20:21:53

You don't need to be straight with them, for the reasons described below.

I hadn't picked up that it was the same company. They know your history and your background, so will probably be half expecting you to get pregnant anyway.

LittleMyDancing Sun 06-Jul-08 20:27:29

Thanks all - I know it's sound advice, but a part of me feels like it would be really dishonest. How would an employer feel about me keeping quiet about it? Would they think 'fair enough' or would they be really miffed?

LittleMyDancing Sun 06-Jul-08 20:38:06

bump

MissingMyHeels Sun 06-Jul-08 20:43:01

I think given the circumstances they would understand why you kept it quiet to beyond 20 weeks - it is entirely natural that you would want to wait until as late as possible and I think they would understand that, job or no job.

They may not be thrilled about losing you but these things happen, it's a business and they should have contingency plans for this sort of thing. Unplanned things happen all the time, you could have equally fallen pregnant in your first month working for them - if so, you wouldn't quit on the basis that they might be upset by it would you?

Hope it all works out either way for you.

LittleMyDancing Sun 06-Jul-08 20:46:55

Thanks, MissingMyHeels, that's very true.

llareggub Sun 06-Jul-08 20:56:27

I guess it depends on your industry.

I work in a sector where skills are sadly scarce and we find it difficult to recruit at certain levels even for permanent posts. We find for temporary posts we attract people who are attracted to temp roles for a variety of reasons, and work with them to flex the role around them.

I also work in an organisation which likes to think it is relatively family friendly and there is recognition that people actually have lives outside work. So as an employer, I think I would be fairly sympathetic to someone in your position, but of course, having had 2 miscarriages myself, perhaps I am more so? I don't know.

Anyway, I am not naive enough to think that an employer might be irritated by your news. But I suspect most employers would understand your reasons for keeping your news a secret until the 12 week scan, at least.

My advice, as an HR bod, is to keep quiet until you have an employer and have had your 12 week scan. Although I have to say, I very much agree that for H and S reasons, there is a very compelling argument for sharing the news with your manager sooner rather than later once in post.

NorthernLurker Sun 06-Jul-08 21:02:32

I wouldn't tell them anything until you were at a point in your pregnancy when you felt you needed to. I interview etc in my role and I don't think it's any of my business to speculate or to be informed of the reproductive plans of the candidate in fromt of me. Happily the law agrees with me and that's the end of that!

Good luck with the possible pregnancy - will look out for news smile

LittleMyDancing Sun 06-Jul-08 21:06:03

Thanks Llareggub - it's good to hear the employer's perspective. I think I'm a bit nervous because the HR lady there is quite anti children (told me off for using the phrase childless, she prefers to describe herself as child FREE hmm) and my boss would be a very career minded lady who has a child but has returned to work full time and is quite driven, so I'm not sure how they'd view it.

Plus it's a charitable organisation so don't have tons of money. Am I right in thinking that they can claim most of the SMP back from the Inland Revenue?

LittleMyDancing Sun 06-Jul-08 21:07:08

Hello NorthernLurker! Thanks for good thoughts - it is only a slim chance at the moment, but am keeping all things crossed....

Probably won't even get the job, anyway wink

NorthernLurker Sun 06-Jul-08 21:11:19

yes they can claim back SMP and tbh if that's their attitude I definately wouldn't say anything!

llareggub Sun 06-Jul-08 21:12:40

They absolutely can claim back the SMP. In fact, depending on their size, they may even be able to claim back more than the total cost of the SMP.

What I am trying, and failing miserably to get across, is that ALL women of child-bearing age could be you from the employer's perspective. How would any woman find work if employers were morally (forget about legally) able to overlook a qualified and experienced woman because she might get pregnant?

Good luck with the job search. Please don't worry about whether to tell them or not.

LittleMyDancing Sun 06-Jul-08 21:21:01

Thanks llaregubb - you have helped a lot. Shall cross my fingers for an interview, a job and a BFP all at once.....do good things come in threes?

grin

llareggub Sun 06-Jul-08 21:22:46

They do indeed, fingers crossed for you.

LittleMyDancing Wed 16-Jul-08 20:58:48

So.......I am pregnant grin

Which is a great thing.

Also a good thing is that I have an interview for the job on Friday. Gulp.

flowerybeanbag Wed 16-Jul-08 21:01:54

Ooh a thread with my name in it and I missed it!

Congrats on pregnancy that's fab news, and really good luck with the interview as well.

LittleMyDancing Wed 16-Jul-08 21:03:51

Thank you! I am definitely doing the right thing by not telling, aren't I?

I figure that as well as it being none of their business, the other thing is that if I tell them, it puts them in the position of being able to discriminate, iyswim.

whereas if they don't know, then all things are equal.

does that make sense?

NorthernLurker Wed 16-Jul-08 21:04:56

Boo! grin

Yes that makes sense to me smile

LittleMyDancing Wed 16-Jul-08 21:07:42

<<LMD leaps into the air>> Aaarrrgghhh!

Hello again wink

Just going to name change, hold on a minute

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