When to Tell Your Employer You’re Pregnant -Five Tips for Mums-to-Be

Lisa from Mountain HR shares her advice on when to tell your employer that you’re pregnant. We hope that her tips and advice will help!

Pregnancy Often Comes With Questions

Celebrating a new pregnancy is an exciting time! But along with the excitement, there are often anxieties and your head will be full of questions. One of the biggest questions you’ll face is when to tell your boss the good news. I remember the nervousness of sharing my pregnancy news at work; not knowing that I had already given the game away by eating ginger nuts at 9am.

The timing of this announcement is extremely personal and you need to do it on your terms, in your own way. You may be worried that becoming a mum will affect your career or your relationship with your employer.

Being pregnant doesn’t have to mean putting your career on hold. You have important rights that ensure fair treatment and support throughout your pregnancy. This includes protection from dismissal or discrimination due to your condition, paid time off for prenatal appointments, and generous maternity leave options. Your employer is also responsible for keeping your workplace safe for you and your baby.

These five tips will help you to share the news in the best way possible!

Image shows a woman holding up a pregnancy test while hugging a man

1. Get Informed Before the Conversation

This advice extends to all areas of pregnancy – it empowers you to make choices and navigate your pregnancy and maternity with confidence.

Before you chat with your manager, read through your company’s maternity policies and guides and find out what leave and pay benefits they offer and whether you are eligible.

As well as pay and leave, you also have protection against unfair treatment and the right to reasonable adjustments to ensure your safety and well-being at work. So, have a read through those policies too or speak to your HR team in confidence.

2. Think About Your Health and Safety

Your health and your baby’s health should always come first. If your job involves heavy lifting, dangerous situations, or high levels of stress, it’s smart to tell your employer that you’re pregnant sooner so they can make necessary adjustments to keep you safe.

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3. Timing the Announcement

When you tell people you are pregnant is completely up to you in the first few months, and there are many personal reasons to delay sharing the news. Don’t feel pressured to follow what you think you ‘should’ do—do what’s best for you. As long as you inform your employer at least 15 weeks before your baby is due, the timing is totally up to you!

Here are some reasons why telling them sooner may work for you:

  • Morning Sickness, Fatigue, or Other Symptoms: If you have morning sickness, fatigue, or other symptoms, they can provide adjustments and support.
  • Maternity Pay and Leave: You can start to ask questions about maternity pay and leave and begin planning.
  • Physical or Hazardous Work: If you do physical or hazardous work, you might want an early risk assessment.
  • Focus on Your Family: You can focus on your growing family without the added stress of hiding your pregnancy or managing symptoms alone at work.

You can tell a trusted HR colleague in confidence if you need answers but aren’t ready to tell your boss just yet. Whoever you tell, let them know it is in confidence and that you are not ready to share widely just yet.

You should never feel pressure to tell them before you are ready! You can wait until the legal timeframe if that feels right for you.

image shows a woman talking on the phone while holding her stomach.

4. Planning the Conversation

When you’re ready to tell your employer that you’re pregnant, having a plan can help:

  • Pick the Right Time: Let them know in a one-to-one or set up a private meeting with your manager so you have enough time to talk without interruptions.
  • Be Prepared: Know your due date and have some initial thoughts about your maternity leave. This will set expectations from the start and help you to stay in control of the process.
  • Stay Positive: This is happy news, so don’t feel the need to apologise! Keep the conversation upbeat and be positive about helping to find your maternity cover and giving them a great handover.
  • Discuss Adjustments: If you need any changes to your role or working conditions right away, bring them up during the conversation. Your employer is required to make reasonable adjustments, and you should feel comfortable discussing them.

5. Handling Reactions

People will react differently to your news. Most will be happy for you, but some might worry about the impact on the team or have personal reasons why the news is difficult. If they do express concerns about any impacts, simply reassure them that you’re keen to make the transition as smooth as possible.

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Once you tell your employer that you’re pregnant, you will need to give them your MATB1 when you receive it later on in your pregnancy and have regular check-ins about the transition as well as your well-being.

Good Luck!

Telling your employer about your pregnancy requires some thought and planning, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. If you feel anxious or receive an unexpected reaction, seek support from HR or a trusted third party immediately. Remember, you are not alone, and inappropriate behaviour is never your fault.

Knowing your rights and doing a bit of planning will set you off in the best possible way. Prioritise your health and well-being, and remember that your employer should support you during this exciting time.

Thanks To Lisa – Mountain HR

If you have any questions or need more support, get in touch to learn about my Pregnancy & Maternity E-Book or my Pregnancy & Return to Work Coaching sessions. Congratulations on your pregnancy, and best of luck on this wonderful journey ahead!

Lisa Thompson is the owner of Mountain HR, an HR, Training & Coaching Consultancy based in London and Kent. Through her work with individuals and businesses, she helps to create safe and supportive workplaces for women and new parents. You can find out more on her website or on her socials Instagram / LinkedIn. You can also email her at [email protected].

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Leanne Warren

Happity's Marketing Magician. From blog-writing, to social media and organising the newsletters: she's all about content. When she's not working, Leanne is usually flip-flopping through a series of different creative hobbies, daydreaming about her next meal, and making an endless supply of coffee to keep her fueled throughout the day. That, or she'll be found mindlessly watching her two turtles, Bill and Ted, have Excellent Adventures together.