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Employing someone already pregnant - what do I need to think about?

(26 Posts)
Katymac Sun 09-Aug-09 10:39:08

They won't be entitled to Maternity pay from me - we both know that

I guess I will need to do a specific risk assessment for her

I can make arrangements for her to have time off when she gives birth fairly easily but she thinks she will be back at work within a fortnight & I wonder if she should be off a bit longer

She can bring the baby with her but I don't know if she will be able to concentrate on the other children while her baby is so little

I have concerns - I don't think they are insurmountable but I want to go into the interview with lots of information & thoughts

& I am sure I haven't considered everything

AcademicMum Sun 09-Aug-09 10:55:58

I started my current job when I was 5 months pg with ds1, but it wasn't a problem as I was told I was being hired with the long-term in mind.

I took off 6 months ML and even though I offered to take less I was told not to worry as this was very little time in the scheme of things and in the end there was no way I could have gone back earlier.

Be careful that if you use her pg as a reason not to hire her, you could in fact face a problem with indirect sexual discriminantion (you are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of martial status, children, pregnancy and a whole heap of other stuff because if it was a man, these things would not be an issue). I therefore think you need to take her pregancy out of the equation for the interview, interview her on the basis of her ability to do the job. If she isn't up to it, then don't hire her (for reasons other than pregancy), if she is a good candidate then hire her and look at the issues around it e.g. rights on both sides etc afterwards.

Katymac Sun 09-Aug-09 11:00:24

I do understand what you are saying

She has brought up her pregnancy as a problem/issue to be considered

I haven't advertised a job yet & through the village grapevine she heard I might be looking for someone soon & could she be considered

tbh the qualifications needed for the job are to be able to get on with me & my existing staff & to like children so she would be hard pressed to fail iyswim but neither of us want to mess up

AcademicMum Sun 09-Aug-09 11:09:55

If you think she'd be good for the job, I reackon that people like that are really worth investing in. Obviously though you don't want to resent her for it further down the line.

How pg is she? If she's only a little way in, she'll have plenty of time to get into the job before she goes on ML. If she's almost due, could you perhaps consider asking her to apply after she's had the baby and ready to start back at work again? I'd be worried that she's setting herself unrealistic expectations to be back at work 2 weeks after birth (she could have a c-section and need at least 6 weeks, or something else unforseen could happen and she needs longer).

Katymac Sun 09-Aug-09 11:21:07

That is my concern (about needing longer off) - I can do it but it would mean she would need to work longer hours when she did start (just for a few months - I have a member of staff that can only earn so much a week - she works annualised hours, so she can cover for 6-12 weeks but would then need time off until her money evened out again iyswim)

She is keen on being trained which is a big plus

But I need someone from September & a commitment to return which might be unreasonable because if I take her on I won't be looking for someone else & therefore if she doesn't come back I will be stuck

littleducks Sun 09-Aug-09 11:34:44

Is it her first baby? I think two weeks off is a tad unrealistic, some people still hve to stay in hosp 10 days, she could have a c section, baby not start feeding well etc.

Katymac Sun 09-Aug-09 11:40:36

That's what I thought

WOrking out - I can manage 9 weeks off (if my lady agrees to flex her hours - she probably will but I must ask her first)

Then she would need to do about 20 hrs a week before she goes off & when she comes back until the new tax year

Katymac Sun 09-Aug-09 11:41:24

Funnily enough I used the phrase 'tad unrealistic' to her at the fete yesterday

twinklytoes Sun 09-Aug-09 14:15:24

wouldn't the crb take a part here too? depending on how long it takes to process and a what point in pregnancy she is? then the risk assessment may change by that point and it become unrealistic to work safely in the environment?

there is a minimum time you have to have off after birth before rejoining employment. it used to be four weeks but I think thats changed now.

would she be able to claim maternity allowance? if so would that balance against a salary from you therefore give her the opportunity to say she'll have more time off? if she were successful then hours could be offered to meet this with view to increasing once she has had a probation period.

Katymac Sun 09-Aug-09 14:22:24

She can work whilst the CRB is coming through

She was made redundant & received her maternity pay as a lump sum

It's very complicated as I do need some one from September

nannynick Sun 09-Aug-09 14:23:41

You can't ask someone to commit to return after maternity leave as far as I am aware. Though if you are prepared to have her bring her child to work with her, then that will be a big incentive for her - as most employers would not permit that.

Time off for anti-natal classes, time-off for maternity related illness, unknown exactly when she would stop work.

nannynick Sun 09-Aug-09 14:25:01

Was her maternity pay conditional on anything - such as not doing any paid work? Given the connection with redundancy I would expect there are no conditions - especially as she has been paid it all.

Katymac Sun 09-Aug-09 14:25:59

As the job is only 13 hrs I would hope she could make appointment around the work - but that is tricky isn't it as I have to pay for that time off

Date of finishing could be tricky too as my other lady is flexible but we need to take her wishes into account too

Katymac Sun 09-Aug-09 14:26:53

I have asked her to check that Nick - I thought it was relevent

Katymac Sun 09-Aug-09 14:31:46

Is lifting children going to be an issue?

I mean PG mums have been lifting the older siblings-to-be for years - but it could be an issue

llareggub Sun 09-Aug-09 14:34:42

She is entitled to statutory maternity leave of 26 weeks but not pay, though she can claim maternity allowance. So in effect she can tell you how long she wants off and you'll have to deal with it.

She must take 2 weeks off. It is called compulsory maternity leave.

If you do employ her you'll need to do a risk assessment and give her time off for ante natal appointments.

llareggub Sun 09-Aug-09 14:40:17

Actually, looks like she can still have the year off if she wants. Better if you input her details into direct.gov and work it out yourself, as I guessed most of the info. My knowledge of the maternity regs is pretty rusty these days.

I would urge caution.

If you have a job to advertise; do it. Then interview her along side any other applicants and judge her solely upon her ability to do the job as described in the job description. Don't make any assumptions about her ability to do the job because of her pregnancy. That is a very risky road to take.

I can see why you need to plan etc but you really need to inform yourself of her entitlements (see direct.go.uk) and discuss them with her. But whatever you do, don't not give her the job because of her pregnancy.

nannynick Sun 09-Aug-09 14:44:46

Lifting children (and any heavy object) I would have thought will be an issue whilst pregnant, plus also for a while (possibly months, if having a C-Section) after giving birth.

I agree with you that PG mums will have been lifting siblings... but health and safety at work is different matter.

HSE: Getting to grips with manual handling

Risk assess it... would they actually be lifting children a lot? Could another member of staff lift a child for them?

nannynick Sun 09-Aug-09 14:46:28

Another booklet that may be helpful with regard to risk assessments for pregnant staff. HSE: A guide for new and expectant mothers who work

Katymac Sun 09-Aug-09 14:48:50

I think 'technically' there isn't a job atm we are discussing possibilities iyswim

I agree caution is probably wise - I am quite a generous/easily adaptable employer & it has backfired on me many times

nannynick Sun 09-Aug-09 15:02:16

Once there is a job available, then I would say it needs to be given to the most suitable candidate. Proceed with caution - once there is a job, advertise it and see who responds. This person may be the only candidate, or there may be others to choose from who aren't pregnant, but who may have other issues you need to consider.

Katymac Sun 09-Aug-09 15:38:49

I think there might be a temporary job actually.....thinking about it hmm?

Poohbah Mon 10-Aug-09 13:14:09

You sound nice Katymac.

You should really brush up on employment law though. Maternity pay/leave, health and safety and discrimination are all factors aswell as your moral obligations to ensure the safety of her baby.

If you are running a playgroup then www.knowhownonprofit.org.uk have lots of information.

Katymac Mon 10-Aug-09 13:52:47

Thanks Poohbah - I am on a steep learning curve

Unfortunately although for all intents & purposes I am not for profit - the idea is to make money......one day wink

We are a group childminding practise

Poohbah Mon 10-Aug-09 20:53:58

That's a good idea! www.businesslink.gov.uk is full of useful information.

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