Expert : HR Regulations for a Pregnant Employee
When should a pregnant employee disclose to their Boss that they are expecting? Vivian Mimano, a seasoned professional, shares the HR regulations surrounding this.
In regards to the inconvenience or hardship to the organization, there is no written law that forces an employee to give notice when they are expecting to marry. When it comes to maternity leave Section 29 of Employment Act, 2007 (she gives not less than seven days written notice in advance, or a shorter period as may be reasonable in the circumstances) If the organization has a good culture (If an employee feels comfortable) the pregnant employee will always give even two months notice to her EDD.
A pregnant employee can disclose they are going on maternity leave as late as one week before their EDD. However, it is good to create an environment where an employee can come and give this information early to inform the workload they get. Strictly speaking, the timing could vary depending on one’s terms of employment.
Contract worker or Consultant:
A consultant is an independent worker, so this will depend more on the contract they have with the said employer. Typically, contractors depending on the type of contract they sign are able to take on maternity leave. Some contractors are paid on deliverables, so even if on maternity, a client would want to get their deliverables.
New Hire and Junior Staff Member:
New Hire and junior staff member – Same as the rest they can disclose a week before their EDD but I insist this is more on culture and the environment the employer has created. As some employer’s are hostile to employees who have joined and discovered they are pregnant right after, or are still very new within the organization. Junior staff would abide by the company’s policies, but are entitled to maternity leave regardless.
For a mother who has recently come off maternity leave:
Even if this employee is a mother of closely spaced young children, by law she is eligible for maternity like any other employee. Maternity is not like paternity. A male employee is only allowed the paternity leave once a year.
Senior Staff or Management – (especially if you were in the running for a promotion)
The professional thing to do would be to relay this message early to her supervisor. Technically, she can still give her notice a week to her EDD. When she does reveal that she is pregnant, she should still be included in the running for the promotion. If she feels that she lost the promotion because she relayed that she was pregnant she could sue the organization for discrimination.
Finally, in the event of complications or loss, what are the employee’s rights in terms of time off and cover?
If a female employee had a miscarriage, she is only entitled to sick leave. When a female employee gives birth to a baby even if the baby is a stillborn the female employee is entitled to three month’s maternity leave.