Do I have to tell my employer that I?m pregnant?

In short ? no.

BUT, it is important that you do ? the laws protecting expectant mothers don?t actually kick in until your employer knows you are pregnant.

Even if you tell your boss verbally, you still need to do this in writing as your employer is not obliged to take any action other than normal risk assessments that they would perform for other employees. Some employers will ask for a certificate (form MATB1) certificate from your doctor or midwife confirming that you are pregnant.

Besides kick-starting preparations for your maternity leave, it?s also important to tell your employer you are pregnant for the following reasons:

  • So a risk assessment can be done: It?s also important you tell your employer to help protect you and your baby?s health and safety during your pregnancy, and so that preparations can be made for your maternity leave.
  • To get time off to go for check: You are entitled to paid time off to go to antenatal appointments and classes recommended by your doctor or midwife (or unpaid if you are a contractor). Your employer can ask for proof of this from your second appointment onwards.
  • To protect you from unfair treatment: You are protected by law for any unfair treatment, e.g. unfair dismissal, which is connected to your pregnancy. If, for example, you take time off for a pregnancy related illness, your employer must pay you in the same way they would if it was any other illness.

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