Almost half of working women in the UK are scared of telling their bosses they are pregnant.
And almost 40% of women think that pregnancy is viewed negatively by their employers with only 16% being brave enough to ask about maternity policy at their job interview.
As if being pregnant isn’t stressful enough, do we have to add worry about our job and how our employers feel to the mix?
Shouldn’t it be okay to have a baby and want to have a career as well? Surely we are not still stuck in that ridiculous idea that only men have proper careers where as us women just mess about for a few years until we can get married and have babies. This isn’t the 1950′s and quite frankly, going off these statistics, some employers in this country need dragging into the correct century.
Being pregnant and working, or even looking for work when pregnant is perfectly possible – people do it all the time all over the world – don’t let hearsay, bullies and scaremongers put you off. What you do need to do is learn about your maternity rights, responsibilities and entitlements as well as your employers responsibilities.
For example, do you know by which stage of pregnancy you must inform your employer? It’s by the end of the 25th week. And did you know that every employee is entitled to maternity leave regardless of length of service? Not necessarily employment pay – that’s dependent on a number of factors – but they must keep your job open for you to return to.
The survey shows that a good number of employees weren’t aware of that. Of the 10% of women that took a job whilst pregnant – a perfectly legal thing to do – over 46% of them were fired after telling their bosses they were pregnant. Job insecurity – just what you need when you’re about to have another mouth to feed.
Quality Solicitors have put together lots of information about the rights of new parents and pregnant women including all of the above in a very comprehensive guide. If you or someone you know is pregnant I’d suggest reading it or passing the link along. It can never hurt to know your rights.