Pregnant and looking for work

We were recently contacted by a pregnant lady who is looking for a job to improve her financial situation. However, she had the impression that because she was pregnant, she couldn’t apply for jobs. This simply isn’t true.

If you are considering making a job application while pregnant, you will have to remember that you could still lose out if placed against applicants who aren’t pregnant. However, as long as you demonstrate WHY they should recruit you and prove that you’re well prepared for the upcoming changes in your life then you’ll still stand a chance!

An obvious approach to your job search would be to apply within companies that adopt a ‘family friendly’ philosophy. To find out which companies are like this, try networking with other Mums. You could also join online discussion forums, such as iVillage.

If you’re at the early stages of pregnancy – particularly within the first 3 months, then there is simply no reason to tell mention anything to a potential employer. Many people do not make their pregnancy public until after this period, so why would you want to mention it to a stranger?

Frequently asked questions:

I got a job in October (shortly before finding out I was pregnant) and have just ‘officially’ announced my pregnancy to my friends and family. I will now have to tell my boss but am worried I can lose my job as I’ve only been here a couple of months. Help!

Firstly, try not to stress out about this – this should, and hopefully is, a happy time for you and your partner. This, happy, excited approach is exactly how you should approach your boss – you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

I applied for a job, the interview seemed to be going well and then I mentioned I was pregnant. The interview finished 5 minutes later and I never heard anything after. I am convinced it was because I mentioned my pregnancy. What can I do?

Anyone who declines your application for employment as a direct result of your pregnancy is guilty of discrimination. However, if is difficult, and often impossible to prove this. In addition, the added stress of trying to prove this is obviously something you can do without. Unless you have specific evidence, I would opt against taking this further.

By law, do I have to tell a potential employer about my pregnancy?

No, you’re not. However, many people feel more comfortable by being completely open about this to prevent any potential future worries.

When is the best time to tell my Manager that I am pregnant?

There is no specific ‘rule’ that says when you should tell the good news to your Manager. This is entirely down to you and when you feel most comfortable. Some women find it is best not to leave it too long due to the time needed off work for Doctors and hospital appointments.

What maternity pay am I entitled to?

Your statutory rights are, the right to:

  • take time off work for antenatal care
  • receive maternity pay (dependent on terms in your contract)
  • take at least 18 weeks maternity leave (often up to around 40 weeks)

I have been discriminated against for being pregnant. What can I do?

If you’ve been unfairly dismissed due to pregnancy you may be entitled to compensation. However, for more detailed information, contact a Solicitor.

With 20+ years of experience writing CVs, it still puts a smile on my face when I hear a client has secured an interview Lee Tonge - Founder and Director


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