Discover ways to announce your pregnancy, things to consider when telling people at work you are pregnant and information on making arrangements for your handover.
Telling your manager first about your pregnancy is always a good idea but there may well be lots of other people at work that you need to talk to about your pregnancy. This can include other colleagues, suppliers, clients and customers. Figuring out how to announce your pregnancy to your colleagues in the most positive way can be a bit of a challenge.
Your work colleagues will probably be happy to share your joy; they may also have questions or concerns about changes to their own work as a result of your pregnancy and maternity leave.
Other factors that may affect your plans to announce your pregnancy and how you are going to tell your colleagues may be the culture of your organisation and also the known or anticipated ambitions of your peers. You may find that relationships with colleagues change after announcing your pregnancy and, in a small number of instances, you may find that you are deliberately or inadvertently excluded from key meetings or decisions.
If this does happen, it is unlawful pregnancy discrimination. However, it may not be deliberate, so try to resolve this through negotiation. Telling work you're pregnant shouldn't have a negative impact on your working life. Be assertive about wanting to be involved, and reassure your colleagues of your continued commitment to the organisation, its goals, and the objectives of your role. If this continues you should seek legal advice.
- Do plan how to communicate your pregnancy to the different people you work with. If you take the time to consider your approach, you are likely to think of ways to announce your pregnancy which will suit you, your colleagues and your organisation.
- Do anticipate concerns and be prepared to talk about handover plans. At all times reassure those you work with of your commitment to the organisation, its goals and your own role objectives.
- Do be assertive about unwanted attention; some women experience unsolicited petting of their growing bump, if you do and this makes you feel uncomfortable then let people know. Continued unwanted attention focussed on your pregnancy could be considered harassment or discrimination. Be clear with your colleagues and others you work with if they make you feel uncomfortable.
- DO be prepared for comments about lack of commitment and changing values. Unfortunately, you may still experience some comments about your commitment. Be prepared with an answer that reassures people of your commitment to the organisation and its goals and your specific role objectives. Write it down and practice it so that you don’t have to think about it if the situation arises.
Page last updated: April 2016
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has research and advice on tackling pregnancy discrimination.
You can call the Equality Advisory Support Service for advice on discrimination and human rights on 0808 800 0082.
Gov.uk, a UK government website, has information on pregnancy and maternity rights in the workplace.
You can call the Maternity Action helpline on 0845 600 8533 and find more information on maternity rights.
You can call the Working Families helpline on 0300 012 0312 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.