16/12/2013 at 08:28
I just wondered if anyone else has felt how I do. I'm really not in a rush to tell work. I know that I'm going to struggle to hide my growing tummy, so I'll have to, but I'm concerned about a few things.
Firstly, I'm concerned that I'm going to be expected to do more work than I would have. I work in a field where you can plan most of the activity that you want to do for a year ahead, give or take a few projects. That doesn't mean that you would then be able to do it within a few months but you usually have an idea what needs to be completed and by when. Honestly, I see myself telling my manager that I'm expecting and then they will go into panic mode and before you know it they are talking to me about wrapping up activity that won't take place until November and so on. The problem is that it would be hard for me to say / prove that its being done like that because I'm expected to go on to maternity leave, they could easily spin it as needing to be planned that far in advance. Did anyone else have this problem? Honestly, I can see it happening so badly.
The next thing is the pressure over a decision of how long I would like to take off. Our circumstances are a bit up in the air at the moment, and I don't know what our financial situation is going to be like when maternity leave time comes around. I know that as a minimum I'll take six months, but if we have the finances to be able to take nine then I'd definitely consider it. I feel like because everyone else has told my employer they are pregnant, and told them how long they will take off at the same time, they'll expect me to do the same. The way I see it is that legally I don't have to tell them until 25 weeks, so surely I could have until then to decide how long I want off too? I don't want to appear difficult to them, so perhaps I'll say six months but keep in my own mind that I can change that if needs be?
Sorry for the brain dump (that is exactly what this post is!). Any feedback welcome.
16/12/2013 at 08:32
Tell them when you're ready. If you're feeling rough you may want to tell them earlier.
I had to tell my work at about 9 weeks as half my class came down with chicken pox and several other teacher had singles and I hadn't had it as a child! I was sent home for a week until that epidemic cleared up!
16/12/2013 at 08:33
I think you should tell them as you feel ready to. They should carry out a risk assessment when you tell them which should involve a discussions about workload and undue stress and pressure. I know that's great in principal but tricky to bring up if they don't, do to work for a big company with a HR dept?
As for what mat leave to take off, just tell them you don't know yet. Or that you will probably take the full time off- you then only have to give them 8 weeks notice to return early- so if you decide at 4 months that you want to come back at 6 then you can just tell them that.
16/12/2013 at 08:37
Custard - Thanks. I definitely won't tell them before family / friends. I hope I'm concerned unnecessarily!
Imp - I didn't know that the risk assessment included workloads / undue stress and pressure. That is reassuring. HR know what my manager is like so I will flag up my concerns from the beginning and get it noted I think! I'll have no problem flagging it up if it happens - but its just being sure that it is happening if that makes sense. Its a bit of a crazy year anyway next year, so it might have ended up being a chaotic even without my wonderful news!
16/12/2013 at 08:43
AFAIK you can't say you'll be off for 6 months then decide to take 9, but you can say you'll be off for 9 months and decide to take 6. So you'd be best to tell them you're taking your full paid entitlement - you could mention to them that there is the possibility that you'll be returning earlier than the 9 months but that's up to you.
Once you go past OML (6 months) into AML (6-12 months) your right to return to your old job is slightly different too, but I've not known anyone encounter a problem returning to their old job after AML - that's not to say that it doesn't happen though.
All the facts are here: www.adviceguide.org.uk/.../maternity_leave.htm
16/12/2013 at 08:53
Ah - Sorry, when I was saying about the saying 6 months then saying 9 months I did mean doing this and making my final decision before I was 25 weeks. I would definitely tell them either way before I left, as it would massively impact the amount they paid me (and subsequently how much I'd have to repay) and so on.
Thanks Sshh - will look at that, I thought it was only if you took between 9-12 months that it started to hinder the role you could return to.
16/12/2013 at 09:03
Pepperoni, you can definitely broach the pregnancy thing (when you're ready) without covering off what you plan to do. I told work earlier than I intended, but it was getting awkward with appointments. I then didn't address anything until I gave in my MatB1 form a couple of weeks ago, and HR wrote to formally acknowledged receipt and set out my rights and what I info I had to furnish them with and when.
16/12/2013 at 09:04
I had to tell my work early as I had to be seen at the EPU for bleeding and was then off with morning sickness at 8 weeks. I wouldn't have told them before my 12 week scan in an ideal world!
As far as time off is concerned, I don't think they can say much, as you can take a year off then that's what they have to assume and it'll be up to you to give notice of returning sooner. A few of my colleagues asked how long I thought I'd take off, I just replied vaguely saying that I'd see how I felt once baby was here. O is only 4 weeks old and so many people have asked me what I'm doing about work.....not thinking about it at the minute!
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