Home / Work & Childcare Articles / I’m pregnant- when should I tell my boss?

I’m pregnant- when should I tell my boss?

pregnant maternity pay

Written by:

One of the first things you might worry about when you’re pregnant is when to tell your boss. There’s never a perfect time to break the news, but there are ways in which you can prepare yourself and limit the impact.

The Legal Side

Legally you don’t have to inform work until the 15th week before your due date. Either on or before this time, known as the notification week, you must tell them in writing that you’re pregnant and want to take maternity leave. You must inform them when you want to start your leave and that you’ll be taking statutory maternity pay. Your maternity leave cannot start until at least 11 weeks before you’re due.first trimester

Waiting until 15 weeks before isn’t always practical and most women will tell their employer before this date. You have to factor in your own circumstances, such as your health, when you start showing, the type of work you do and how you think your boss will react. In order to help with time off for antenatal appointments and scans, many women tell work after the first trimester.

There may be health and safety implications, though, that mean you need to tell work earlier. For instance, if your work requires heavy lifting or you work with dangerous substances, the earlier your employer is aware of your pregnancy, the more they can do to protect you.

Do Your Research

Before you sit down with your manager it’s best to prepare yourself. Read up on your legal rights and any specific work benefits you’re entitled to. You should also have in your mind how much maternity leave you want to take. Going to your boss with an initial plan will make you appear more professional and show you have a commitment to the company when you come back to work.

If you work in a small business or team, then your immediate boss may be worried about how your work will be covered while you’re on leave. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have some thoughts on how your role can be spread across the rest of the team. You should also make a plan for any changes that will need to be made to allow you to do your job whilst pregnant. All this preparation could help to illicit a more positive response from your boss.

Telling work you are pregnant


Whatever time you choose to inform work of your pregnancy, make sure that you tell your boss first. You might be dying to tell your closest colleague, but it’s hard to keep anything secret in an office. It’s far more professional if your boss is the first one to know and that you tell them before it’s too obvious.

If there’s a reason why you need to tell your immediate boss earlier than you’d like, then you can ask them to keep it from your colleagues. It can be a good idea to plan how to tell colleagues with your boss, so that it doesn’t disrupt productivity or be leaked to clients before you’ve told them.

A pregnancy should be a happy moment for you and your family, so you shouldn’t worry too much about telling work. Just make sure that you know your rights and prepare well and hopefully your boss will be as delighted as you are.







About Catherine Stern

About Catherine Stern

Catherine Stern is a freelance writer with a background in marketing and PR. She currently writes web content on a range of subjects, from finance and business to travel and home improvements. As a working single mum of two young boys she understands the pressures that today’s working parents face and the topics they want to read about.

View all posts by