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Want to avoid telling work I am pregnant until after year-end bonus -- can I wait this long?

(21 Posts)
Boobz Sat 19-Jul-08 18:09:57

I work for an American company (although work from home) and have just found out I am 3 weeks pregnant. The company is based in Ireland and I am going over there next month for a meeting, but then probably won't have to go there again until the Christmas party.

When are you obliged to tell your work that you are pregnant? I receive a year-end bonus on Dec 17th and is up to 80% of my salary, so it's important I don't do anything to jeapodise it. I know that legally my work aren't allowed to discriminate against me because I am pregnant and should award my bonus based on my performance, but I know for sure that if I annouce I am pregnant before Dec 17th, they will slash it and then tell me that was of course what I was always going to get. They're pretty cut-throat American male macho types.

I could of course take them to court if I thought I had been discriminated against, but I think it's probably just easier to tell them after I have received the bonus. By Dec 17th I will be nearly 6 months pregnant -- is this too late to tell them, legally? Am I obligated to tell them before then?

I don't even feel I can ask HR for details on our maternity package until after the bonus has been awarded for fear of them telling my bosses and cutting the cash (which of course we will desperately need with a first baby on the way!)

Any advice?

MamaG Sat 19-Jul-08 18:12:26

How many weeks pg will you be?

I think you have to tell them by 25 weeks pg?

BreeVanderCampLGJ Sat 19-Jul-08 18:12:36

First baby, you will be about two months you should be fine. I didn't show until 5 months with DS.

What sort of work do you do ?? Are you likely to be meeting clients who may say something.

Flamesparrow Sat 19-Jul-08 18:12:40

If you can manage without telling them, then I would say go for it.

Speaking as someone who didn't get a job because I was pregnant there were better applicants with sod all experience in the department I set up hmm, I am all for staying quiet as long as humanly possible.

Flamesparrow Sat 19-Jul-08 18:13:49

with the 25 weeks thing, what about people who don't realise until they are 8 months gone etc - tis not Boobz's fault that her periods are always irregular etc wink

Boobz Sat 19-Jul-08 18:18:17

I will be about 23 weeks I think (not sure yet - need to go for first scan to see how pregnant I am now!)

I work in marketing and am the client, so they would keep mum if I told them to. More difficult with media owners, but they usually deal with me and don't speak to my bosses direct, so unlikely to let it slip.

A friend of mine was about 6 months pregnant and keeping it quiet from work until she got the promotion she was promised. Got the promotion on the Friday and then came into work on the Monday without her baggy top and wearing maternity jeans with little top. Am kind of hoping I can do the same thing...

Boobz Sat 19-Jul-08 18:20:24

"they would keep mum" is referring to the agency people I work with...

RubyRioja Sat 19-Jul-08 18:23:06

I hid my first pg for a while, but the regular vomiting was harder to hide than the later bump

KaSo Sat 19-Jul-08 18:26:32

How on EARTH did Breevandercamp work out you'd be 2 months pg??? Dec is alot further away than that Bree!!

I'd tell them. Check the staff handbook/company policy. Where I work you are obliged to tell them as soon as you know and can face disciplinary for not doing so!

Boobz Sat 19-Jul-08 19:36:24

I don't physically have a handbook -- it's not on the company website, so I'd have to ask HR for one - giving the game away.

The difference between them knowing and not knowing is in the region of £50k, at a guess... (of course I might be selling them short, but having worked for them for over a year and seen what they've done to other previous employees, I'm pretty sure they would give me a nominal bonus if they think they can get away with it...)

Hmmm - not sure what to do now.

flowerybeanbag Sat 19-Jul-08 19:41:37

Boobz you don't have to tell until 25weeks, and with this much riding on it there's nothing to be gained by giving your employer the opportunity to discriminate. The only reason in your case for telling sooner is if there is a health and safety issue.

KaSo I am astonished to hear your company would discipline you for not telling as soon as you know. Legally you don't have to tell until 25weeks, and they can't force you to tell as soon as you've got a positive pregnancy test. Have they ever disciplined anyone for not telling them? That would be a very risky thing to do!

frasersmummy Sat 19-Jul-08 19:44:45

legally you have to tell your employer before the end of the 15th week before your due date

so you have to have told them by the time you are 25 weeks (guess because 24 weeks is viability and this is when you are issued your matb1 form

hope this helps

good luck

Flamesparrow Sat 19-Jul-08 19:49:17

50k shock?!?!


bythepowerofgreyskull Sat 19-Jul-08 19:53:35

if you can NOT tell them then Don't - £50k goes along way when you are off with a baby smile

Boobz Sat 19-Jul-08 19:54:48

Oh wow.

I really don't know how pregnant I am, but I have a feeling I conceived on June 27th which would make me 24 weeks and 5 days by Dec 17th, my bonus day! That's very close...

I guess legally I am covered to tell them on Dec 19th (just as we leave for the Christmas hols I expect) but it's very close.

I guess I will have to wait and see what the scan says and then make a call. What will happen if I tell them after 25 weeks, does anyone know?

chutneymary Sat 19-Jul-08 19:56:38

First timer - I'd say with a bit of clever dressing and a prevailing wind you should be fine. I am on my 3rd and still haven't told my work yet. I'm 20 w on Wed. I look like a bloater, obviously, but to the untrained eye I am still at the "has Mary eaten all the pies" stage rather than the impending motherhood stage. With DD2 I had to come out rather earlier than I would have liked as I had bad morning sickness but so far so good.

Oh and congratulations.

Boobz Sat 19-Jul-08 20:08:41


ShowOfHands Sat 19-Jul-08 20:19:45

If you conceived on June 27th, by my calculations you'll actually be nearer 27 weeks come your bonus day. Remember your pregnancy is dated from the first day of your last period not from the day of conception.

Boobz Sat 19-Jul-08 20:41:12

I haven't had a period since the middle of May, but then they have always been really irregular.


ShowOfHands Sat 19-Jul-08 21:00:32

But are you sure of when you conceived? On the day of conception you're considered 2 weeks pregnant according to standard calculations. Is there any chance you're further on? Do you know when you ovulated.

Might be a nail biting wait until the scan

Boobz Sat 19-Jul-08 21:23:02

I'm not sure, tbh, I think I conceived when we were on holiday. No idea when I ovulated.

Ugh. A long wait till the scan to find out for sure.

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