How to tell your boss you are pregnant

Written by Calvin Bowers
Last updated March 8, 2021

Telling your boss that you are pregnant can be a daunting experience. You might be concerned about the future of your employment, or worried about your boss’ reaction. The Equality Act 2010 protects you against discrimination in the workplace as a pregnant woman. On account of this, we have prepared a guide on how to tell your boss you are pregnant and help you understand your rights.

Finding the best time to inform your employer

It is essential to assess some factors of your work and pregnancy in order to plan when and how to tell your boss:

  • The type of work you do – you should think about the hazards associated with your duties at work. For instance, if you are exposed to harmful chemicals, you should consider letting your boss know as soon as possible. Your employer should arrange to transfer you to a different department or change your tasks.
  • How you feel – if you begin to show pregnancy symptoms, such as nausea or vomiting, it is a good idea to inform your boss promptly. Your employer will understand your situation and make any necessary arrangements to support you.
  • Privacy period – many women wait until the risk of complications decreases after three months before informing their employers. Others decide to let their boss know once their amniocentesis test results are back.

You can visit the NCT website to learn more about pregnancy.

Preparing to inform your employer

Once you have established when to tell your boss you are pregnant, you can take a few steps into account to ensure you are well prepared for your discussion:

  • Researching your workplace’s maternity leave policy – it is essential to learn everything you need to know about maternity leave in your workplace. You can read your employee handbook, your company’s policies and procedures, or setting up a confidential meeting with somebody in human resources.
  • Knowing your rights – your employer must support you through your pregnancy in various ways, including entitlement to maternity leave and paid time off for your antenatal appointments and classes. Additionally, your boss will ensure a risk assessment to help you manage your workload and carry out your duties in a safe environment.
  • Planning work cover – while your employer might not expect to be informed of your pregnancy, it is a good idea to prepare a list of suggestions on how your role can be managed in your absence. Considering how your work will get done while you are away will show high levels of professionalism.
  • Planning your return to work – you should think about your financial circumstances and your childcare options.

For further guidance on your rights, you can visit the Government dedicated page.

Telling your boss you are pregnant

You should ensure you schedule a meeting with your boss to avoid rushing your conversation with them.

Once you have established the terms of your maternity leave and cover, your employer should set these in writing so that you steer clear of any misunderstanding.

If you are in employment and pregnant, you are entitled to a year (or 52 weeks) of maternity leave. If you want to learn more about your maternity leave rights, visit our dedicated page.

Last Updated: Tuesday March 23 2021
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