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Do I have to notify my employer that I'm pregnant?

You don’t have to tell your employer you are pregnant, but until you do, they do not have to take any further action, in order to protect the health and safety of you and your child. You should also bear in mind that you will only be entitled to certain rights once your employer knows that you are pregnant.

There are many reasons why you should notify your employer that you’re pregnant, and we can’t think of any why you wouldn’t.

The law protects pregnant women from being discriminated against, so it’s illegal to lose your job or be treated differently in the workplace because you’re expecting a baby.  And furthermore, once you’ve declared your pregnancy to your employer then there are certain benefits and entitlements that apply to you in order to help you manage; both at home and in work.

Legislation states that you should tell your employer at least 15 weeks’ notice that you’re going to have a baby, although common sense might suggest that the more time you give your employer, the more time your employer has to put any processes into place that can help you, them, and your colleagues too.

Your employer is entitled to ask to see the MAT B1 certificate that is provided by your doctor or midwife; this confirms your due date. 

After that you’re allowed to take paid time off in order to attend any antenatal appointments, and of course if your job normally requires you to do manual work or other work that’s inappropriate for a pregnant woman then your employer must do a risk assessment in order to work out what you can and can’t be reasonably expected to do.

Perhaps the biggest effect in a pregnant woman’s workplace is statutory maternity leave.  A new mother may take 26 weeks of ordinary maternity leave followed by an optional additional maternity leave of up to a further 26 weeks.  Naturally an employer is likely to want to know how long you’ll want to take, so that alternative arrangements can be made in your absence.

Upon your return, you’re entitled to request changes to your working hours in order to help you cope with both work and motherhood.

If you feel that you’ve been unfairly treated at work in any way after you notified your employer that you’re pregnant then get in touch with QualitySolicitors by calling 08082747557 so we can have a quick free chat about how we might be able to help you.

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