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Pregnant-will I lose my new job starting sept?

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by Plainjane123, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. Plainjane123

    Plainjane123 New commenter

    Hello everyone, so as the title says I recently found out I am pregnant (unplanned).

    I have a new job starting in September at an academy Grammar school. I have my offer letter and have formally accepted the post but haven’t received my contract yet.

    Planning on telling the school as soon as I have my contract. I’m due end of January and if all goes well I’ll take 4 months maternity leave.

    So my parents are extremely worried I’ll lose my job! I’m aware of the law but is there anything I can do/show them/ that will reassure them I can’t lose my job?

    Even a reply saying “this happened to me/someone I know and everything was fine” will really help!

    Thanks so much in advance
  2. cheesypop

    cheesypop Senior commenter

    They can’t not honour the job offer. That would be clear pregnancy discrimination and I know there are a lot of unenlightened people working in SLTs but this is something everyone knows.

    Are you in a union? Email them this same question and then show the reply to your parents.

    I personally would wait and tell the new school in September. At that point you have already started the job and you can tell them in person. It won’t benefit them to know in advance- they won’t recruit your maternity cover over the holidays for example- so wait and tell them face to face. No reason why you couldn’t have found out about this unexpected pregnancy over the summer holidays.

    Also - although you have your idea of what you plan on doing (returning after 4 months) be careful about declaring this as a definite. Again, there are clear rules that you can announce and then change your maternity return date within certain time frames but you don’t want them to think ‘oh she’ll only be off a term, we can get a cover supervisor to do her lessons’ and then feel pressured into returning earlier than you might want. Let them recruit and take what you need. You’ll be a better member of staff when you do return if you’ve done so on your own terms.

    Finally- good luck! Your parents sound like worriers! Get them a project to be involved with otherwise they are going to drive you mad for the next 6 months!
  3. Plainjane123

    Plainjane123 New commenter

    Thanks so much for your reply- really helpful and much appreciated. X
    cheesypop likes this.
  4. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I think a lot of people in your position would return to work at the end of the summer term to make sure of getting paid for the summer holiday. That also means that you return to actually working at the start the new school year, which makes for good continuity for the students.

    As far as your rights are concerned, you usually don't have any until you have been at a job for 2 years, but pregnancy discrimination is covered by the 2010 Equality Act. Not honouring an offer where there is clear evidence that it has been made and accepted would fall under this. You don't need a contract for it to be legally binding. I agree with everything @cheesypop says above.
  5. jenny_talwarts

    jenny_talwarts New commenter

    I think I am right in saying that being dismissed for being pregnant is one of the automatic exceptions to the 2-year eligibility for unfair dismissal rule, as well as it being pregnancy discrimination under the Equality Act.
    Plainjane123 likes this.
  6. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    I had arguments with (female) colleagues around 5 years ago-a teacher had accepted a job offer, and when September came told them she'd be on maternity leave. Two people said they thought it was deceitful she hadn't told them and would be taking leave as soon as she'd be starting. As I say, both of these were women-one had had two kids herself, so I asked why she thought it was ok for her to have had two lots of leave-sadly we can't always plan job/baby prospects as we might wish! I know some women fear being discriminated against if they are married, but in this case, she was. For what it's worth, most people were very supportive and pregnancy laws protect you. So enjoy your pregnancy and congratulations.
    Please tell me this though-a GRAMMAR ACADEMY? What is that-I thought no academy could be selective? How does that work? I
    Plainjane123 likes this.
  7. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Quite a lot of grammars have been taken over by academy chains. I worked in one some years ago...
    Plainjane123 likes this.
  8. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    Congratulations, on all things new!

    You do not need to tell your employer until 15 weeks before the due date, but telling them in September is wise as it will allow them time to plan. As already pointed out they can not rescind the job offer if you've already accepted it and met all their conditions. A contract is not needed to confirm it and in some cases may not turn up for weeks/months later.

    Looking at the timings I do not think you will be eligible for SMP though, but may be able to get Maternity Allowance. You are entitled to return to work on any day, not just a 'working' day. So could nominate returning on the first day of a holiday period and be entitled to be paid over that period.
    Plainjane123 likes this.
  9. parmisan

    parmisan New commenter

    First of all, congratulations! Secondly, I’m one of those who can say “this happened to me!” and pretty much identical timings as my baby was born end of Jan this year and it HAS all worked out fine so please don’t let the worry/anxiousness override the wonderful news as I felt exactly the same as you.

    I was offered the job back in May and I had found out I was pregnant just days before. I accepted the job but didn’t tell the new school straight away as it was so early, we hadn’t even told family yet! I was debating whether to wait until September but was worried I’d be showing and it would be obvious anyways. I’d also approached my current Head for advice and she’s said as Head she would want to know as soon as possible, so I decided to bite the bullet and met the new Head in July after I’d passed the 12 week mark to break the news. I can’t say he was delighted by it but he was grateful I’d told him earlier so they could start to plan alternatives. Like you I’d formally accepted the job both verbally and via email despite not having a contract yet and I’d received advice that this was legally binding and so that relieved my worry of him revoking my job, which of course he couldn’t do.
    Come September I wasn’t actually showing so I started my new job without telling anyone else (apart from my HOD) until I required a midwife appointment so the cover supervisor found out and then word slowly got out. I told the students around November time. Everyone was pleased for me and we had a bit of a laugh about the timings of it all, I wasn’t subject to anything negative at all. Thankfully I’m part time and the majority of my antenatal appointments were on my days off so I didn’t need to ask for time off, although of course you are entitled to them so they can’t discriminate against those either, I just felt better not having to ask for it off. By the time I left in late January any bad initial feelings from the Head were long gone and then when I came in for a couple of KIT days I had so many staff and students say they couldn’t wait for me to return which was lovely too. It’s funny as my replacement worked at the school longer than I initially did

    I took maternity leave from the end of Jan and returned to work for the last two weeks of July, so I’m currently waiting for a decent payslip at the end of this month! You could say the first day of the summer holidays but personally I didn’t feel comfortable doing that but you’re well within your rights. As someone else previously warned, I didn’t qualify for SMP but got MA instead. It wasn’t the greatest and we had to take a mortgage payment holiday to make ends meet but as we knew far enough in advance we were able to put some money aside before I actually went on maternity.

    I hope that gives you a bit of reassurance - I’m happy to answer any other questions or concerns
  10. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Why not? I worked at one which became an academy and was not (at the time) part of a MAT. Or do you know of a rule which is being broken here?
  11. Plainjane123

    Plainjane123 New commenter

    Thanks so much for such a lovely long reply, I really appreciate it. I think it’ll all be fine, I’m trying not to wish my holiday away but I do just want to tell the school and get it over with! Thanks again xxx
    Piranha likes this.

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