When royal wives like The Duchess of Cambridge and celebrities are pregnant they are so closely monitored by the press and paparazzi that they don’t always get to break the news themselves.
Kate Middleton, wife of Prince William is a case in point, and the news that she is pregnant hit the news headlines before even the Queen knew, apparently!
So what happens when you find out your going to be a mum but aren’t quite ready to break the news to your boss? Do you have to?
The short answer is no! It is your choice when you let your employer know, but as ally a know pregnancy isn’t something that you can hide for nine months because the physical signs will soon blow your cover!
The other thing to bear in mind is that the laws protecting expectant mums don’t kick in until you have told your employer that you’re 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.
There are also other important reasons why you should tell your employer you are pregnant :
- So a risk assessment can be done
- To get time off to go for maternity checks
- To protect you from unfair treatment
- To prepare for your maternity leave
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.
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.
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.
This is something you’ll want to prepare as far in advance as possible and discuss what you want to do once the baby arrives – even though you can change your mind.