In the Workplace When to Tell Your Boss

When to tell your Boss

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Do I Have to Tell My Job I Am Pregnant?

While informing the workplace sooner than later can work to your advantage, you are not required to do so.

Applications for maternity leave must be made to your employer within a country-specific time frame.

By reading this article, you can discover your rights and obligations and the advantages and disadvantages of disclosing your pregnancy to your employer.

Why Notify My Boss When I Am Pregnant?


You may be concerned about your employer's reaction and wonder whether it would be better not to inform them.

Pregnancy is a protected status. Your supervisor must know about the pregnancy if you want to claim the protections and benefits available to you.

This is especially the case if your place of employment has 15 or more workers, as they must follow strict guidelines in making pregnancy-related accommodations. Your privileges start as soon as you notify your boss in writing and end when you return from maternity leave.

It is best if your employer learns about your pregnancy from you rather than someone else.

Therefore, it usually makes sense to tell your boss as soon as possible and before sharing the news with anyone else.

📘 For Further Reading:

When to Disclose Your Pregnancy at Work?


Many factors play a role in considering when to tell your boss about your pregnancy:

  • Some women prefer waiting until they have passed the 12-week threshold, and the risk of miscarriage decreases.
  • Others anticipate a positive reaction from their employer and decide to inform them immediately.

  • Some prefer to tell their boss without delay for reasons of fairness, thus avoiding resentment over a surprise "absence."

  • Others may delay the announcement for personal reasons.


While each of these approaches is valid, some countries have specific regulations regarding pregnancy notifications. Click on your country and find out which laws apply to you!

In the US, you are not legally required to tell your employer that you are pregnant.

Your boss has the right to ask about your pregnancy status at any time, even in the hiring process, but you do not have to answer and will not be held liable if you answer untruthfully.

UK

In the UK, you are not legally required to tell your employer if you become pregnant, but you must inform your boss before your 25th week of pregnancy if you want to request maternity leave.

Your prospective employer may not ask about your pregnancy status during a job interview, but you must tell them immediately after you are hired.

As a pregnant employee in the UK, you enjoy more significant protections than anywhere else in the world, aka the "protected period", as soon as you notify your superior in writing. This period lasts until you return from maternity leave. Without maternity leave, this period ends two weeks after delivery. Your letter should include your due date and the date you would like to start maternity leave.

If you are absent from work for pregnancy-related health reasons, it is advisable to inform your employer of your pregnancy so that your absences are not counted against you.

IRELAND

In Ireland, you are not legally required to tell your employer you are pregnant, but your request for maternity leave must be made before the 36th week of pregnancy.

During a job interview, you may not be asked whether you are pregnant, and you will not be held liable if you lie about your pregnancy status. The job offer may not be withdrawn when you later reveal that you are pregnant.

In Australia, you are not required to tell your employer about the pregnancy unless you work in a high-risk environment. You must also inform your boss in writing of your intention to take maternity leave at least ten weeks before your last day of work. Suppose you wanted to start five weeks before your due date; in that case, you must notify your employer before your 25th week of pregnancy. Your intention must be confirmed in writing four weeks before you commence maternity leave.

The earliest date to start maternity leave is your 34th week of pregnancy. Your employer has the right to request a medical certification of your physical fitness should you desire to work beyond that point.
If you have a Human Resources manager, this would be your first person to talk to.

You may not be asked whether you are pregnant during a job interview.

In Canada, you are not required to tell your employer that you are pregnant unless you request health-related or maternity leave. You can start maternity leave 12 weeks before your due date and must inform your employer at least six weeks before it begins. In this case, you must notify your boss by week 22 of your pregnancy.

Your employer may not ask whether you are pregnant in a job interview, and you are not required to tell them after being hired.

In New Zealand, you are not required to tell your employer that you are pregnant unless you apply for maternity leave. This must be done in writing before your 27th week of pregnancy and include a medical certificate confirming your due date. Your leave can start anytime after your 34th week of pregnancy. You must give your employer at least three weeks' notice if you desire to start your maternity leave early. Your boss must respond to your initial request by approving or refusing it within four weeks.

During a job interview, you may not be asked about your pregnancy status, and you are not required to reveal it upon employment.

In South Africa, you are not required to tell your employer that you are pregnant unless you apply for maternity leave. This must be done at least four weeks before starting maternity leave or at least eight weeks before the due date. The latest you must notify your employer is by week 32 of your pregnancy.

At a job interview, you may be asked about your pregnancy status. You are not obligated to tell the truth and need not disclose your pregnancy once you are hired.

GERMANY Go to our German page

PORTUGAL Go to our Portuguese page

ITALY Go to our Italian page

AUSTRIA Go to our Austrian page

SWITZERLAND Go to our Swiss page

  • Your employer may request proof of pregnancy after your announcement.

If you do not want the news of your pregnancy to spread, tell your employer of your desire for privacy.

👥 How does my personality affect my pregnancy? — Take the Personality Test


Reasons to Wait

If you are on a rolling contract that is up for renewal, you need to weigh whether it is better to wait until the new contract is signed before announcing your news. Your decision would depend upon regional pregnancy laws, the size of your company, and your relationship with your employer.

  • Pregnant on a Fixed-Term Contract

If you are still in your probationary period, it may be a good idea to wait until you are given a permanent contract.

  • Pregnant During Probationary Period

Are you concerned that your boss may pressure you to get an abortion?

  • Coerced Abortion

Additional Concerns


Hopefully, this article addressed some of your most pressing questions. We realize that your concerns may be more complex. Every situation is unique, and it is our priority to help you find satisfying answers because you matter! Our unbiased digital counseling tools were designed with you in mind. Why not give them a try?

  • 💡 Dealing with a specific concern? Take the Solutions Finder Test
  • 💪 Wondering whether you have what it takes? Strengths Finder Test
  • ⚖️ Are your concerns causing you to wonder whether to have an abortion? Take the Abortion Test and receive an immediate evaluation.

Disclaimer:

While we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information possible, profemina does not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided.

Authors & Sources

Author

Kerstin Dörbecker,
MA English

Reviewed for Legal Accuracy

Legal Team

Sources
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