When should you tell your boss you're pregnant?

Pregnant women
When is too late? [Photo: Pexels]

It’s happened; after months of trying – or perhaps as a total surprise – you’ve become pregnant and are planning on giving birth to a healthy baby in not too long.

You’re also in full time work – so besides cutting out booze, taking folic acid and all that jazz, a big question is this: when is it time to tell your employer?

It’s true that there are better times than others to bring it up but, at the same time, there are also a lot of myths flying around about pregnancy and employment.

So we asked Workingmums.co.uk, a job and community site that offers advice to professional working mothers, when to say those three golden words.

The basics

Women usually wait until after 12 weeks [Photo: Pexels]

First of all, let’s get one thing straight – legally, you need to inform your employer by the 26th week of your pregnancy.

Technically, the rest is totally up to you, but there are many other reasons to pick a specific time – one being the common ‘wait until after the first trimester’ rule.

You might already know that lots of women tend to choose to wait until after their 12th week of pregnancy to start telling those they know – including their employers – as it’s after this that your chance of miscarrying drops significantly.

While telling friends during this period could be beneficial especially when it comes to emotional support, many find it makes more sense to tell their bosses once this riskier time has passed.

Could I be fired?

Women looking at monitor
If your line manager has any issues, it’s time to talk to HR [Photo: Pexels]

There’s no long answer to this: No.

Employers can’t legally dismiss an employee just because they’re pregnant – in fact, telling them will offer you extra protection from unfavourable treatment and means you can take paid time off for ante-natal visits.

In fact, if you don’t tell them and your boss guesses that you’re pregnant first and dismisses you as a result, it’s harder to prove that it was due to discrimination.

So better safe than sorry.

Who should I tell?

Pregnant couple
Make sure you’re aware of your maternity rights [Photo: Pexels]

Workingmums.co.uk recommends telling your line manager first, who should inform anyone else who needs to know (such as HR). Though if you’d rather tell your colleagues the big news yourself, you can ask them to keep it confidential.

They should respond positively and respectfully – but if you feel worried about their reaction, you should tell HR directly.

If in doubt, there’s no harm in reading up on your rights, so check out the Workingmums.co.uk website for more information.

When do you think you should tell an employer you’re pregnant? Tweet us at @YahooStyleUK.

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