When And How To Tell My Employer I’m Pregnant
Finding out you’re pregnant is an exciting time, and telling everyone is something to be treasured. But after you’ve let your parents, siblings and friends in on the big news, the next step is to tell your employer. Here are the answers to some common questions which will hopefully help.
You need to provide your employer with proof of your pregnancy to receive Statutory Maternity Pay. You do not need proof to take maternity leave. At least 21 days prior to your SMP start date you should give your employer either, a MatB1 form from your doctor or midwife or a letter from your doctor or midwife.
What if I’m unwell and would like to inform work before 12 weeks ?
So here’s the part that seems taboo to talk about especially before the 12th week. Morning sickness or nausea is incredibly common during pregagncy and can be debilitating. On average it affects 70-80% of pregnant women to a greater or lesser extent. About 45% of pregnant women suffer from nausea with vomiting while an additional 25% suffer with nausea only.
You may need to make resonable adjustments to your working life to help you get through this time and therefore it is more than ok to tell your employer or a trusted work collegue early on, if that helps you feel more comfortable in continuing with your responsibilities at work. Yes there is a risk of miscarriage, but your health and weall being is of the upmost importance during that time.
- Don’t let them hear it on the office grapevine. Gossip always spreads, and you’ll be outed.
- Don’t rush it, unless you really have to. Although there’s an unwritten rule that you wait for your
12 weekscan before telling everyone, sometimes it’s really hard to hide the dreaded fatigue and morning sickness. So if you’re not ‘obviously’ pregnant then choose a time you feel most comfortable to fess up, but remember your hand might be forced as you can only blame it on the flu for so long.
- Do book a meeting, don’t mention it in passing in the kitchen or corridor. It’s important news and shouldn’t be treated casually. Make an appointment to tell your boss and go somewhere private, quiet and where you won’t be disturbed. You could even go out for lunch or a (decaf?) coffee.
- Do have some facts at your fingertips when asked, for
exampleyour due date and your initial thoughts about maternity leave. Consider how your absence might affect both your own job and the business as a whole, and make some constructive suggestions. If you have any ideas about coverfor your job whilst you’re away, make sure you share them.
- Do have a list of questions to hand, so you don’t forget to ask anything important.
Remain calm, professional and try not to worry; it is illegal for a company to sack you just because you’re pregnant or plan to go on maternity leave. However, if you really are concerned about anything negative, it might be worth waiting until the 20th week to disclose your news (if you can). This then proves you’re still able to effectively do your job even though you’re pregnant and could therefore offer your employer some peace of mind.
Statutory Maternity Leave (SML) lasts up to 52 weeks. You need to inform your employer that you want to take SML a minimum of 15 weeks before the start of the week your baby is due.