If I am applying for a job do I have to tell my prospective employer that I am pregnant?

Released 27th April, 2010|4,747 Views

No, you do not have to state that you are pregnant when you are applying for a job. Nevertheless, you should think about what is the best tactic for you. It is usually sensible to wait until you have a job offer, preferably in writing, before you tell an employer that you are pregnant. If they withdraw the offer at this point, it would almost certainly be sex discrimination.

Alternatively, depending on how many weeks pregnant you are, you may decide to wait until you have started the job. If you tell your employer once you have started and they ask you to leave, this would be probable sex discrimination and unfair dismissal.

Even when you are in a job, you still don’t have to tell your employer that you are pregnant, but it is probably a good idea to tell them before they guess.  Once you have told them in writing that you are pregnant, if there is evidence of a risk to you or your baby from doing your work, they should carry out a health and safety risk assessment to make sure your job is safe for you to do. You are also entitled to go to ante-natal appointments in work time, for which you should receive your normal pay.

Once you reach 15 weeks before your baby is due (about 25 weeks pregnant), you need to give notice to your employer of when you want to take your maternity leave. You should normally do this at the same time as asking them to check your entitlement to statutory maternity pay. If you were already pregnant when you started the job, you probably won’t be entitled to statutory maternity pay, but you’ll still need to get an official form from your employer which says why they can’t pay you. You may be entitled to maternity allowance from the Jobcentre instead, and you’ll need your employer’s form to get this.