You don't need to tell your employer about your pregnancy or maternity leave until 15 weeks before your baby is due. The 15th week is known as the ‘qualifying week’.
However, it is important to check your employer’s maternity policy for exact notification requirements.
It is often a good idea to tell your employer you are pregnant because once they are aware, your employer;
- should immediately take into account any risks identified in your workplace risk assessment including any specific risks to new and expectant mothers (read from the HSE here)
- should not subject you to unfavourable treatment
- must make any reasonable adjustments if required
- must record any pregnancy-related sickness separately to ‘normal’ sickness absence
- must allow you paid time off for antenatal care appointments.
You do not have to tell a prospective employer that you are pregnant when you are applying for a job. The fact that you are pregnant should not be taken into account when determining who gets the job.
If it were taken into account and you were treated less favourably, it would be viewed as discrimination.
Contact us for further advice if you think you have been discriminated against because of your pregnancy.
Our Pregnancy timeline is a week-by-week countdown of the important dates in your pregnancy. It can help you understand both maternity pay and maternity leave.