10 ways to tell your employer you’re pregnant
After finding out you’re pregnant, you have the exciting job of telling your partner, friends and family the great news! However, one person unlikely to be as excited as you is your boss. They are losing a good worker for the best part of a year and though happy for you, may not be ecstatic at the prospect. Here are some tips to help you break the news.
You don’t have to declare your pregnancy to your workplace until 15 weeks before you are due to give birth, though some may appreciate being told sooner so they can plan cover. Announcing your pregnancy before this time will also help if you need to ask for time off for antenatal appointments.
When you tell your employer that you are pregnant, you should state the following:
- That you are pregnant and wish to go on maternity leave
- That you wish to receive statutory maternity pay
- The date you wish to start maternity leave – no earlier than 11 weeks before your baby is due
Your employer will then reply with a written letter stating the date they expect you to return to work if you take your full entitlement.
- Tell your boss first
- Don’t be frightened
- Work policies
- Choose your moment
- Know how your work may be affected
- Maternity leave
- Don’t be a diva
- Look at your finances
- Talk to your doctor
- Be sensible
Resist all temptations to burst with excitement and tell everyone in the office before consulting your boss. It doesn’t matter how close you all are, the chances of a piece of news like that not circulating the office are nil. Imagine your horror if you sit down to tell your employer and he already knows.
Many women will feel anxious and even scared about telling their boss they are pregnant. There’s no need! Even if your boss is a monster, you can’t lose your job because you’re pregnant so don’t worry.
Read up on the rules and regulations your work has surrounding pregnancy. The more you know about policies, the better you will feel when negotiating maternity leave.
Pick your moment carefully. The last think you should be doing is blurting it out at the morning meeting in front of everyone. Make an appointment with your boss if you need to. Try not to catch them when they are particularly busy or stressed out.
Does your due date clash with a project deadline? Will your travel plans for a meeting have to change? The earlier you tell your boss about these possible problems the better.
Discuss when and how long you wish to take for your maternity leave. You may also wish to help your employer train someone in your absence to take over your workload so that when you return, the office isn’t chaos.
Yes you may be pregnant, but don’t transform into Mumzilla. Maintain your professional approach to your job and don’t expect others to take on your tasks because of your pregnancy. No one likes a diva.
Before committing to a particular length of maternity leave, look into your finances and see how long you can afford to maintain your lifestyle on your maternity pay, half of your maternity pay and nothing at all. This way, you can look into all options including leaving work to stay at home.
Talking to your doctor or midwife about when to break the news can help put you at ease.
If you are beginning to show, don’t pretend you’re invisible. If you can see it, so can your boss. Don’t expect them not to notice your bump. Break the news in good time so that it comes as first hand news, not when they have to squeeze past you to get into the lift in the morning.
Download the Pregnancy and Work leaflet fron Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, Pregnancy and work – what you need to know as an employee
Directgov, Working when pregnant
Photograph: Mirimcfly @ Flickr