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Six weeks pregnant and leaving job at 12 weeks

(4 Posts)
cucumbersandwich Fri 14-Aug-09 11:21:00

Hello. Can anyone give me any advice about my rather longwinded pregnant/work situation?

I recently resigned having spent over a year hating my 80 mile daily commute. I found out I was pregnant a week later.

I am leaving at the beginning of October having given a long notice period before I knew I was pregnant. This was both for my team's benefit, and plus I was going to use the long notice period to secure another job. I had been planning to temp if I couldn't secure anything immediately.

I'm now suffering from morning sickness and finding it even more difficult than ever to drive into work and back and I'm genuinely not sure how I'm going to get through til week 12 doing this.

I'm therefore currently considering leaving earlier than I'd planned, but apparently my notice period is still one month, so I can't leave before 14th September so I'm questioning if it's worth causing bad will with my boss and team for the sake of two weeks.

I also have an interview next week, which I got before I knew I was pregnant. I don't know what to do about telling my potential new (public sector) employer I am pregnant. Would you tell them beforehand? If I got the job I don't want to cause bad will - it's only an 18 month contract and I'd obviously be wanting it renewed if possible.

It would fairer to tell them and risk not being employed. But then, it was a job I was really interested in, and part of me thinks, it's very early days and I need a job.

That said, (all being well) I probably wouldn't be able to, or want to, work full time after the baby is born anyway, realistically, and the job is a full time position.

To be fair to everyone I could temp until April then apply for part-time permanent positions after my maternity break. However, this would set me back slightly as I was very much hoping to pay off a loan I have before my baby arrives and I would get paid significantly less for temping than if I got a permanent job.

Also, what if nearer the due date, or when the agency finds out I'm pregnant, they stop giving me work? I know they're not supposed to discriminate, but I've heard stories (on the internet!) of this being done anyway.

It all feels like a bit of a mess really and I'm not sure how to proceed. Any advice?

RibenaBerry Sat 15-Aug-09 13:32:52

The first thing I would say is stop worrying about everyone else!

On the notice thing, you could either talk to your boss about leaving earlier (a good employer may well be understanding) or, if your sickness is severe enough, speak to your doctor about whether it would be appropriate to be signed off work. Depending on company policy on sick pay, this might be paid or unpaid (except Statutory sick pay, which is pretty minimal).

I would suggest not telling your potential new employer that you are pregnant. I think it puts them in a difficult situation if you do. They will know that they are not allowed to discriminate, but human nature is to be a bit reluctant to take someone on who will be going off quite quickly. If they don't know, they cannot be biased, and the public sector are well used to dealing with this kind of thing. They also work so often with fixed term contracts initially that I don't think you should let this affect your approach. If you get the job, tell them then.

Even though the job is full time, you will have the right to request part time working after your return from maternity leave (you need six months' employment IIRC. Sorry, can double check that if needed) under flexible working rules. Do just think, however, about whether agreeing to the type of hours you are likely to want is going to be feasible and realistic. Some jobs can be very difficult to adjust in particular ways - for example, if nursing shifts are 8-8 every day, it's going to be difficult for an employer to agree for you to do 10-4 as it messes up the whole rosta, but would be easier to rota you for fewer overall shifts. Employers should think long term about maternity leave and value staff skilss for the long term, but if you're likely to leave after maternity leave anyway because they won't be able to accomadate their preferred working pattern then, TBH, I do start to think it's a bit unfair on them.

Not much you can do about the agency thing I'm afraid. Yes, as the bump gets more obvious some people are less keen about putting you forward. Tis the way of the world unfortunately and being illegal doesn't stop that.

HTH. Sorry it's a bit terse. In a hurry!

cucumbersandwich Sun 16-Aug-09 09:35:43

Thanks RibenaBerry, this is really helpful and is the conclusion I'm coming to myself (ie not telling them before the interview because it will naturally then become about me being pregnant rather than whether I am right for the job).

It's an office-based job that I would want to return to, and if I got the job I think I could work out a compromise with them afterwards which would suit us both as my partner works four days so will be able to share childcare with me.

I'm also going to talk to my employer about leaving two weeks' earlier. It will probably put him out a bit, but I've been pretty flexible with my notice period (I resigned in mid July) so I'm feeling less and less bad about it!

Thanks again for your help.

RibenaBerry Sun 16-Aug-09 17:49:57

No worries smile

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