Posted by: me | 2010-04-06

pregnant-new job- now what

i have been employed permanently as of 15 March
i found out i am 3 weeks pregnant
what are my rights in the workplace ie: staff and managment
how long afterwards do i tell them.
as i am not a year with the company i will not get maternity pay what other options can i put forward ie: statutory maternity pay.
help- i need all the info i can get..

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGynaeDoc

I hope that the other respondents have helped.

Best wishes

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Our users say:
Posted by: gynaedoc | 2010-04-09

I hope that the other respondents have helped.

Best wishes

Reply to gynaedoc
Posted by: Purple | 2010-04-06

Oops, forgot to say that you don''t have to tell your employer until 4 weeks before you intend going on maternity leave (in writing), but there is a good chance they will notice by then. Also, the sooner you tell them the less angry they will be.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Purple | 2010-04-06

Your new employers might be angry or upset, but there isn''t anything they can do about it.

Wait until you have seen your gynae and confirmed that you are pregnant (they can see the heartbeat and all is well) and then ask for a meeting wiht your immediate supervisor or manager and calmly explain that you have just discovered that you are pregnant, that you did not know at the time of your interview (you don''t have to disclose it but it is considered poor form if you know but don''t say), that it is a surprise and you are just starting to wrap your head around it.
In a month or two, things will be fine again, but you might find some annoyance at first.

You may take 4 months maternity leave and the company can''t ask you to shorten this, however, you can take less if you want to. If you aren''t being paid or you aren''t being paid in full during this time, you can claim from UIF, but it works on credits, so for each 6 months you have contributed you get one credit. One credit equals one month of payment.
Even if you have been doing temp or contract work you would have been contributing.
Phone the dept of labour UIF offices for guidance on how it all works, they are quite helpful.
You can take your maternity leave anytime from 4 weeks before your baby is due, you cannot be forced to go off before your baby is due, but your gynae might want you to only work until two weeks before baby is due.
You cannot return until 6 weeks after baby is born - whether you have a stillborn baby in the last trimester, a c-section or a natural birth. IF a midwife or gynae says you can return earlier then you can, but it is very unlikely that one will do this - you need the time to heal and to establish breastfeeding.
During pregnancy you can''t do work that will be hazardous to baby such as working with certain chemicals.
After you return to work they must provide you with work on a similar level and with the same pay as before, even if it is not hte exact same job.

With regard to your company policies on maternity leave, ask for a copy of the policy or look for one on your company intranet. It will explain what pay if any they give while you are on maternity leave and also if there are any rules such as that you must have worked there for a set number of months before you can get paid for mat leave or not, and how often they will pay - some companies only pay maternity leave twice or three times per woman, and only at intervals of two or more years.
Some companies give more than 4 months leave, some give 5 or 6 months. Some give full pay for a portion of the time and half or a third for another portion and nothing for another portion. Some let you add your annual leave on to your maternity leave.

Good luck. I hope things work out well.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: boikie | 2010-04-06

Post your question to the labour lawyer.

Reply to boikie

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