Should a candidate disclose a pregnancy before accepting a job?

The debate has sparked some controversial opinions

Should a candidate disclose a pregnancy before accepting a job?

When it comes to disclosing personal information at work, there are rules as to what is and what isn’t acceptable.

We recently reported on changes to laws in NSW, making it unlawful to refuse to hire women who know are pregnant when applying for a job.

Despite legal protection, candidates are still often uncomfortable disclosing their pregnancies.

A recent thread of parenting forum Mumsnet saw a pregnant mother and job candidate questions whether she should disclose her pregnancy to her interviewer.

Writing on the forum, the user named MrsCaecilius explained how she’s 18 weeks pregnant and recently found out that she’s at risk of redundancy – meaning finding another job at seven months pregnant would be difficult.

“At the same time, I have been approached by a recruiter about a new job (I wasn't actively looking),” she wrote.

“I am through to the final round interview (on Thurs) and have not told them I'm pregnant. I'm not massively showing (most of the time) so although they've met me, I don't think they'd suspect.

“I really want this job. So, when do I tell them?”

The thread split the general public, with some advocating transparency on the candidate’s part whilst other believe she should keep it to herself.

“I would be honest and tell them as soon as possible.,” wrote one commentator. “If they take you on it's in full knowledge of your pregnancy and there shouldn't be any problems if you need time off for appointments, going on maternity leave and if you want to come back part time.”

Another claimed it saves the employer from having to re-recruit to fill her maternity leave, whilst one added it’s dishonest not to reveal her pregnancy.

 One user wrote: “I was in a similar situation though much earlier in pregnancy. I knew my new boss and kind of knew what his reaction would be so waited until I'd been offered the job. Although he later denied it, he did try to find a way out of giving me the job.

“If you see it as a long-term role where you will be there for years, then I would wait until you are offered the role. I told my new boss that for me I saw the role as a long-term position and that maternity leave would be a short period in that.

“Unfortunately, there are a lot of employers who wouldn't employ someone they knew was pregnant.”

What would you advocate? Should candidates disclose a pregnancy before being offered a job, or not? Tell us in the comments.



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