I'm on maternity leave but cannot return to my original job. I am therefore looking for a new job. I am reluctant to say I am on maternity leave when speaking to agencies (most of the jobs I am applying for are via specialist agency) as I'm worried this will make me a less attractive candidate. I've not been working for around 8 months now and they may think I'll be less flexible - all the usual prejudices.
Anyway I don't see how anyone will know I am on maternity leave if I don't tell them as I am in continuous employment. If I got another job I would just resign from my old job in the normal way and give notice. My employer only gives references that state the date employed from/to and job title, these are produced centrally, so it wouldn't come up on a reference.
Do you think I should make it clear that I am on mat leave or try to just get by without mentioning it? I won't lie if I'm actually asked, but let's face it no one is going to ask me if they have no reason to suspect I am.
I know a lot of employers wouldn't care that I'm on maternity leave, but some might see it as a negative, and if it's down to me and another candidate it might just be enough to lose me the job.
What would you do? I have an interview with an agency next week.
Its just that the agency are bound to ask me what I've been up to at work recently/ general small talk about work and it does feel a bit duplicitous but I suppose I'll have to lie if it's for the best. Even if my suspicions are unfounded and employers aren't bothered, every time I don't get a job I will think it's because of the mat leave issue and it will do my head in!
Well, the results are in. I told one agency I was on mat leave, they put me forward for two jobs and I got no interviews, the other agency who think I am still working put me forward for four jobs and I got three interviews! Ok, could be coincidence but that's pretty conclusive to me. I am not going to be honest any longer, just have to hope my little ones keep quiet when I get phone calls from agencies/prospective employers and don't give the game away!