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Urgent help required - returning from mat leave and pregnant again [blush]

(6 Posts)
Likeaheadlesschicken Sun 17-Jul-11 22:08:32

Good evening all!

I have an urgent request for help! Please excuse any spelling mistakes or bad punctuation as this is the second time I have had to write this and my brain is frazzled angry!!

Ok so here is the background to my issue:

I have worked for a large retailer for 8 years and am due to return from my year long maternity leave in two weeks time.

I work in a Management position and before having my DD have loved my role and felt well treated by the company.

I am currently five months pregnant with my second child. No one at my work is aware of my pregnancy and I have another 4 weeks approx before I have to legally inform them.

I have put in a flexible working request to go from 5 days to 4 days, this was always my intention pre my second pregnancy.

I have my first flexible working meeting tomorrow (which is being held over the telephone as I have no childcare due to illness).

My question is, do I a) inform work from the outset that I am pregnant and will only be returning to work for approx three months or b) discuss my flexible working request as if I was returning to work for the long term.

I have no idea what to do, I have conflicting opinions as I do not want my Boss to feel I have been dishonest or misled the company in anyway (although it is a very large company, the people you work with feel like family) and I will want to refocus on my career and look to progress within the company within the next 3 to 5 years. Conversely I have a very real need to work 4 days, I have no family or backup to care for my DD and I can only get 4 days booked into my preferred nursery, also due to health issues in my current pregnancy I don't feel I will be physically able to carry out what is a very physical and mentally challenging role. I was told "off the record" a while ago by a HR Manager that if I indicated my intention to get pregnant my flexible working request would be turned down.

So mumsnet jury.............WWYD??

allthefires Mon 18-Jul-11 08:21:02

No real advice but hopefully this will bump it for you .

You need to remember that a flexible working hours request works both ways. It's not just about how it's needed from your point if view but how it will work for them as a business.

In all honestly if the HR person had been stupid enough to say that to me I would probably return full time, use my annual leave, take maternity leave-possibly from earlier date that hoped if childcare was a real issue and do a flexible working hours request when I return from DC2.

By reducing your working hours you are probably reducing your mat pay/annual leave accrual but based on the HR comment I expect they are shortsighted in seeing that!

Northernlurker Mon 18-Jul-11 08:26:57

So the company have already told you of their intention to discriminate against pregnant women and you're wondering if you should tell them? Errr no!
Have them treat the request on it's merits and tell them about the pregnancy when you legally need to. They will in all probability be pretty cross tbh - but that's their problem. The law supports you in having privacy till 25 weeks. The law supports your right to request a different working pattern and to go on maternity leave. This company employ you. They don't OWN you.

Likeaheadlesschicken Mon 18-Jul-11 08:45:06

Morning! Thanks for the advice so far. The information from
my HR Manager was off the record, and was given to me in a friendly rather than threatening manner, although primarily that is the reason I am worried about being honest from the outset although I know that is the right thing to do.

By going back full time it won't affect my maternity pay that much as that is calculated on what you have earnt in the 12 weeks leading up to the 25th week before your baby is born. The only thing that will be affected in my holiday.

I posted in AIBU last night and got some really good responses, I think I need to indicate I'm pregnant from the outset and see the outcome, before then offering unpaid leave/use of holidays to reduce most working weeks down to four days.

Likeaheadlesschicken Mon 18-Jul-11 08:46:09

Having said that I would still be interested in hearing other people's views, particularly any lurking HR Managers!

madmum37 Mon 18-Jul-11 11:37:08


I was in a similar position a few years ago with my eldest two. I returned to work about 4 months pregnant, back in the days when you could only take 6 months off.

If it helps I didn't tell them when I renegotiated my contract. I also decided not to reduce my hours as I was only back for about 5 months, so I used my leave to take a day or two off each week instead. It worked for me. Although I have to admit I felt guilty and embarrased telling them I was pregnant again....but then I've felt just the same 'announcing' my following two pregnancies too!!

Good luck with whatever you decide.

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