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Ok ,think I may have completely screwed this up, help/reassurance please!

(37 Posts)
LittleMyDancing Fri 12-Sep-08 14:59:18

So I had a job interview yesterday for a job I want. Thing is, I'm 12 weeks pg on Sunday.

I didn't tell them before or at the interview, as I took advice from all you lovely people and I'm legally not obliged to at this stage.

Then they phoned today to offer me the job. Now I took the view that if I take it, then by the time I start I'll be very obviously pregnant, so I can't take the path of waiting until I'm in the job a few weeks and then telling them.

So I thought I would tell them now, as that way it's all honest and above board. Now I know that legally they can't withdraw the offer, but to be honest I don't want to work there if they're going to be really angry at being 'deceived', so I would rather not take the job than start under a cloud, iyswim?

Anyway, my potential boss surprised me by saying 'I thought that you might be' (I'm not showing that much shock) but then said he'd have to go and consult his boss and HR about it and get back to me. We haven't negotiated pay or hours yet (it's full time but I would rather work four days a week) so there is an option for us to opt out if need be (i.e. if he refuses to give me four days a week, or won't pay what I'm asking, then he could force my hand into not taking it, iyswim?)

He said I was the only candidate they wanted, they don't have a reserve, so in a way that's a good thing.

So now am bricking it completely, because if we go through all this nonsense and then we fall out over pay or hours, it feels like such a tremendous waste of his time, and I feel like I've really been a pain in the arse.

Anyone got any words of wisdom here? sad

LittleMyDancing Fri 12-Sep-08 15:05:29

bump from hormonally challenged bag of nerves.....

Carnival Fri 12-Sep-08 15:09:20

Was it advertised as a Full Time post? Did it say anything about flexibility in terms of the hours?

LittleMyDancing Fri 12-Sep-08 15:21:04

It was advertised as full time - I asked about flexible working at the interview and they said they were very flexible as an organisation, and that 'he wouldn't be against it' but that was about it.

Thing is, I would work f/t if necessary, as it would only be until April when the baby comes, and the money would be useful (!), and then I could try and renegotiate after that, but I just feel like I've made everything completely tricky now by not being straightforward.

I guess what I'm saying is I feel really guilty, but there's not much I can do about that!

LittleMyDancing Fri 12-Sep-08 15:32:28

Any thoughts? Have I behaved completely unprofessionally?

dashboardconfessionals Fri 12-Sep-08 17:02:57

Message withdrawn

LittleMyDancing Fri 12-Sep-08 17:06:03

thanks dashboard! I'm slightly shock that he suspected I might be pregnant but took no advice on it before he offered the job, but maybe he just had an inkling and dismissed it as a stray thought.

I suppose it's a good sign that he suspected and still offered me the job!

he has just called to say he can't reach his HR team this pm, so his boss is going to call me on Monday (he's on hols for three weeks).


jvs Fri 12-Sep-08 17:06:37

I think it is a positive thing that he kind of had an inkling that you were pregnant but still offered you the job! If you were the only one they wanted then hopefully they can sort something out surely?
Dont know much about the job 'rights' side of things but hope that you get what you want!
And yes i think you were right to be honest!

SimpleAsABC Fri 12-Sep-08 17:08:06

At least then you'll know.

Fingers crossed for you and best of luck (I'll probably forget to check thread for update)!!

willthisdo Fri 12-Sep-08 17:08:46


In my opinion you have done nothing wrong and been much more professional and honest than most would be. I only hope that your potential employers recognise that. I'm fairly sure that most people would wait for contracts etc to be signed before revealing the pregnancy.

Well done, and don't feel guilty. Personally I think that you'll be starting on a much easier footing than if you'd concealed the pregnancy until later in the negotiations.

LittleMyDancing Fri 12-Sep-08 17:42:07

thanks willthisdo - that's pretty much what I thought, I didn't want to work there for five seconds and then announce it, it would have been a rubbish way to start a working relationship.

thanks for supportive thoughts! will try not to think about it over the weekend.

flowerybeanbag Fri 12-Sep-08 19:49:45

LMD you certainly haven't behaved unprofessionally and definitely have no reason to feel guilty.

I wouldn't have advised doing what you did, I would have said wait until things are signed sealed and delivered. That way you are still telling them at the earliest opportunity but not putting them in a difficult position or giving them the opportunity to discriminate.

It does sound positive, they were open minded about flexibility and you are the only one they want and he already suspected you were pregnant. I wouldn't panic too much. I'm not quite sure why he needs to consult his boss and HR and get back to you, but as I say, it sounds positive so try not to worry.

LittleMyDancing Fri 12-Sep-08 20:27:22

That bit confused me, too, flowerybeanbag. I mean he knows and I know that he can't really withdraw the offer, so it's a bit odd. He said something about wanting to check my maternity rights, so I said I was aware that I wouldn't qualify for their maternity pay or SMP, but would be claiming MA, and he said something about 'oh our policy is very generous'.

I doubt it's generous enough to include people who join the organisation already pregnant, that would be pretty remarkable, surely? Maybe he wants to check how long I'd be allowed to take off, I'm assuming it's still 39 weeks?

I think I panicked a bit because he's going on holiday for three weeks from Monday, so I thought it was a bit off to wait until he'd gone before breaking the news, iyswim. I wanted to tell him rather than via HR, so he knew I was being straight with him, does that make sense?

Fingers crossed.

LittleMyDancing Mon 15-Sep-08 14:05:21

No news from them as yet sad

flowerybeanbag Mon 15-Sep-08 14:08:38

You are probably right maternity policy isn't generous enough to include you, but he may well be completely clueless about that so will want to check into exactly what will happen.

So he's on holiday for three weeks from today? Give HR a ring in that case I would.

LittleMyDancing Mon 15-Sep-08 14:10:26

He said the head of department would pick it up today and would call me - do you think I should call in to HR or wait for her call?

They have one of those centralised HR teams up in Leeds or somewhere, whereas the job is in Bristol, so I'm not sure where I'd even start explaining what I was after, iyswim!

nervousal Mon 15-Sep-08 14:14:47

wait for her to call you - and STOP WORRYING! Only worry when they give you something to wotry about!

flowerybeanbag Mon 15-Sep-08 14:14:58

If he said she would call you, give her until the end of the day, then ring HR in the morning. Even if HR is centralised, they will have a record of your offer and if your new manager was speaking to someone in HR, they should know what the situation is, or will at least be able to find out. Give the HoD a chance to ring you first if that was what was agreed.

LittleMyDancing Mon 15-Sep-08 14:18:56

I know, I know, I'm fretting when I don't need to. Just been reading about the Lehman Brothers collapse and considering the fact that

- DP runs his own business and has just taken out a new loan on it, with a personal guarantee of £50k shock
- I currently work for DP, so all eggs in one basket
- We have DC2 due in March 09

and feeling a bit scared.

Want to be in a nice safe job with a civil service pension!

flowery, I should have taken your advice, you are the wise one. I shall know better in future!

flowerybeanbag Mon 15-Sep-08 14:21:06


LittleMyDancing Mon 15-Sep-08 15:07:10

ok so she just called. she wanted to find out exactly what my 'conditions' were about the job, as it sounds like the guy who interviewed me didn't do much in the way of explaining anything to her on Friday - probably too busy running off out the door on hols!

So she asked me about

- when I could start
- what I would be looking for in terms of flexible working, if they were to grant it
- when I was due

so I said

- I could start within three weeks
- that ideally I would like to work four days, could do compressed hours if need be, but wasn't looking for any working from home stuff, would be in the office on those four days
- that I would work f/t if required (not sure about this one, but thought I should show willing for the moment and see what they say)
- due in March 09

She's going to talk to the HR Business Partner and then call me on Wed at 3pm to discuss.

Presumably, the HR Business Partner will tell her she would be on shaky ground if she withdrew the offer, even if it was only made verbally?

But I'm thinking she could deny my flexible working request if she wanted, to try and dissuade me from taking the job?

She sounded nice, but not particularly friendly to the whole concept of flexible working.

Fingers crossed.

RibenaBerry Mon 15-Sep-08 16:08:43

Don't worry about HR. In the nicest possible way, it's not their call here. If the manager suspected you were pregnant and wanted you, he wants you. Some managers do take a long term view of things (esp civil service. Once you're in that pension they don't expect you to want to go anywhere for years).

Very few people would be stupid enough to withdraw the offer. If it's about full time/part time, well they could have been awkward about that anyway since you don't yet have the service for flexible working rights. They will know that they are on shaky ground if they are less flexible with you than they would be with other new employees. Tribunals see past that sort of stuff you know!

Deep breath. I'm sure it's just the wheels grinding slowly and HR being annoyed that they weren't kept in the loop by the manager.

LittleMyDancing Mon 15-Sep-08 16:55:59

Thanks RibenaBerry - the trouble is, the manager that wanted me is on holiday, I'm now dealing with the Head of Department who hasn't met me and therefore has no idea how fabulous I am.

The thing is, I think DS could cope with me working f/t (he's 2.5 - don't know if I would though sad) but I'm not sure I'd want to work f/t after the baby comes. So am I better off negotiating flexible working now, so that it's in place when I go back, or should I take it even if it's f/t, and renegotiate after the baby, when they've ALL realised how fabulous I am? wink

I know that's a hypothetical question, to be honest.

The other question I had is - if on Wed they come back and they say - we'd still like to hire you, but because you're pg and only going to be around till March we think you ought to work f/t - is that discriminatory, to use the pregnancy as a bargaining tool, iyswim?

I'm all questions, me.

rookiemater Mon 15-Sep-08 17:16:17

Littlemydancing I was in almost the same situation as you, and I didn't tell them until I had signed the paperwork, but I felt so so guilty about it. They were fine ( until I requested flexible working after having DS but thats another story) but I did work extra hard because I felt so guilty about arriving up the duff.

I'm sure that they will play it to the letter, as you know they can't discriminate because of the pregnancy, but tbh I think your chances of getting p/t agreed at this minute may be slim. But if they don't agree it now, then you have the option of submitting another flexible working application when you return after the second baby.

I'm sure it will all work out fine.

RibenaBerry Mon 15-Sep-08 17:21:59

Yes, that would be discrimination. grin

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