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Old 15.08.2015, 10:14
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Pregnant during first 3 months probation

Hi,

Hope someone can help advise... I have two key questions.

Yesterday, much to great surprise, I found out that I'm 5 weeks pregnant. (Due to PCOs and Endo, we thought it would take months/years of trying, not on the first time!)

I started a new job in August, so am still on my 3 months probationary period where they can terminate my contract with just 1 weeks notice.

My first question is:
If I tell them I am pregnant within my 3 months probation, can they still terminate my contract? e.g. does the pregnancy rule still apply during probation?

I really enjoy the job and have been told I'm doing a great job, which makes me want to be honest with them. Ideally, I would like to tell them at the 12 week mark, but I would still be in the probation period and don't want to risk losing my job!

I know it will look highly suspicious when if tell them I am pregnant straight after the 3 months, but, I cannot afford to lose the job, especially now there is an extra person on the way!


Secondly, if they start to become suspicious that I'm pregnant, or just decide that I'm not longer doing a good job and let me go, can I claim any maternity pay on basic insurance? I've been working and paying AHV for a year now (some full time, some part time jobs).


Hope someone can help! Thanks
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Old 15.08.2015, 10:23
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Re: Pregnant during first 3 months probation

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Old 15.08.2015, 10:29
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Re: Pregnant during first 3 months probation

As far as I understand, within the agreed 3 months trial period, they can get rid of you for any reason. If you survive the 3 month trial period, then you are protected against a dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy. All you have to think about is how the employers will react towards you if they consider that they have been deceived.

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Old 15.08.2015, 10:29
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Re: Pregnant during first 3 months probation

First of all, congratulations on the pregnancy!

As to your question, it is of course always best to be honest with an employer to avoid bad feelings. Realistically, if you were actively trying for a baby at the same time as starting a new job then you have to accept that was a chance (no matter how difficult it's been) that you will get pregnant during this important period, and you will now have to accept the consequences of that with regards to your work. It would probably have made more sense to establish your job and then try for the baby, if the job is literally so crucial.

As far as I'm aware, they can fire you within the first year pretty easily by giving the proper notice, though not while you are on maternity leave.

Do a forum search for "maternity leave" and "maternity leave fired", as this kind of question has been asked multiple times
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Old 15.08.2015, 10:32
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Re: Pregnant during first 3 months probation

Even if you don't tell them, it will soon show after the probation period and i really can't imagine the employer is going to be happy about the lack of information and whilst you'll get paid the legal amounts, i can't imagine he'll take you back again.

Depending on your profession, Switzerland is basically an incestuous place and employers talk to each other.....

It all depends if you are going to work after the birth, if at all possible, don't as children with full time parenting progress far more than those farmed out to baby sitters. I think i would tell the employer and try to get to some sort of deal, especially if you want to go back.

If the company is large there is more chance of being able to come to a deal, if it is small it is a high cost they have to bear whilst not having any work done, for a small company it can be a killer
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Old 15.08.2015, 10:40
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Re: Pregnant during first 3 months probation

Isn't it pretty common to tell employers at about 12 weeks?
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Old 15.08.2015, 11:11
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Re: Pregnant during first 3 months probation

I seem to remember that the pregnancy protection only applies if you have worked for more than 12 months with the employer...maybe you need to check that?

Morning sickness usually appears around 7 weeks and fades (hopefully) at 14 weeks. It is quite common not to make the pregnancy public until after the general checkup and ultrasound at around 12-14 weeks, but if you have severe morning sickness then it may be difficult to hide the pregnancy...

If you are desperate to keep your job for the entire pregnancy then I would consider keeping it quiet for as long as possible and continue to do your job to the best of your ability..

There is also a small chance that the pregnancy will not go smoothly, which is one if the reasons why it may be better to not make any announcement yet...

If it comes up for discussion, then it would be quite legitimate to say that it was a surprise and also that you have had medical problems in the past that meant there was no guarantee that the pregnancy would 'stick'...but you are under no obligation to go into details...at all...if you don't want to.

If you act delighted at the miracle of having a baby, and also apologetic to the inconvenience to the employer...when the time comes to let them know...that is about as much as I would do...

I never went back to the same job after any of my three children, and it worked out... If you can downsize your life and afford to live on one income (the fathers) then any money you earn becomes a 'bonus' and far less pressure than needing the two incomes to make ends meet, as long as he has a good secure job...
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Old 15.08.2015, 12:00
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Re: Pregnant during first 3 months probation

congratulations!

you are protected after your 3 months probation period and until 14 weeks after the baby is born. You cannot lose your job. In your case I would be delighted and tell them after the 3 month period. After you have had your baby you look again what the world looks like. You may have completely different views of the world as you will be a mother.

I have been an employer for most of my life and a pregnancy does disrupt business but it is inevitable and you learn to work with it. As you have just started your role may not be business critical.

relax and enjoy the pregnancy.
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Old 15.08.2015, 12:10
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Re: Pregnant during first 3 months probation

Congratulations, wonderful.

Personally, I would not be able to wait to tell them if I like them and the job. Do you get on well with your manager/s? And the main question, and this is the hardest to answer, do you intend to go back to work after the baby or not- and can you see yourself in the job, and Switzerland, long term? (I know- hard to tell and you may change your mind).

If you are doing a good job, enjoying it, and get on well with line managers- this is what I would do. Ask for a meeting and tell them absolutely straight- that you never intended to get pregnant now- but that you are so happy about it as you thought it might never happen- that you feel terrible towards them as they have been amazing and you love the job- and want to come back after the baby is born. Hopefully, they will say 'bummer' but we understand, life happens and we are so happy for you- and will do everything we can to make your pregnancy as comfortable as poss and your return as easy- with time to BF if you want, etc. On the other hand, as said above, you could wait till after 3 months and pretend you had no idea until then. I was more than 3 months pregnant when I found out- no particular weight gain (and I was slim at the time ) - and no morning sickness at all (I had been on the pill for many years and didnt' have periods - I stopped because I wanted a break and I had to go to hospital for an operation on my injured leg... my doctor said it could take a long time for periods to come back and to get pregnant- and it was first time lucky/surprise!).

If they react badly? Would you really like to spend your wonderful, happy pregnancy with people who do not understand- and think you'd been dishonest, etc? Of course it depends on your finances and if you can afford not to work- but this is what I would do. Bonne chance.

BTW many of us never ever experienced morning sickness- and there is no reason why you should- a small % of women do have severe morning sickness, some twinges, some not at all.

Last edited by Odile; 15.08.2015 at 12:50.
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Old 15.08.2015, 13:25
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Re: Pregnant during first 3 months probation

The facts:

If you tell them before the end of probation, they can fire you and even if you say they fired you based on pregnancy, you won't get your job back.

If you tell them right after probation and act like everything is normal before, not giving clear answers if someone asks "are you pregnant" - but showing that you love the job and that you intend to work there long-term - you should be fine.

If you tell them after probation and immediately reduce your hours or fall ill for long periods of time due to pregnancy-related issues, they cannot fire you until 16 weeks after delivery, but they might give you a hard time and make you feel so bad that you feel pressured to sign an agreement to end your employment after delivery. Do not agree to anything like that.

"Kündigungsschutz

Arbeitgebende dürfen einer Angestellten nach Ablauf der Probezeit während der Schwangerschaft und in den ersten 16 Wochen nach der Niederkunft nicht kündigen."

Federal source (German)


Women are not well protected when pregnant - so no matter how nice the job and the employer seem, things can change drastically when the "threat" of a woman leaving a job or reducing hours due to a baby appears.
Therefore, I would tell them after probation and do your best to not reduce hours. Of course, do ask your boss to assign you tasks which don't endanger your pregnancy - that is your right. If someone asks you if you are pregnant before end of probation, change the subject and keep changing the subject no matter how nosy they get - it is NONE of their business and things can - as said - go very pear-shaped if you're unlucky.
If you need to reduce hours due to pregnancy after probation, make sure your doc gives you a note stating when you can work - e.g. not only "OP can work 60% of her contracted hours", but rather "OP can work four mornings and two afternoons a week." This way you won't end up with the employer making you work three long full days a week.

Good luck and happy pregnancy!

Last edited by glowjupiter; 15.08.2015 at 14:03.
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Old 15.08.2015, 21:10
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Re: Pregnant during first 3 months probation

Congratulations on the pregnancy!

First of all, there is no point in telling anyone right now, before reaching the 12-13 week mark. After that point, you will be reasonable sure that the pregnancy is progressing well (and the risk of miscarriage decreases dramatically after this point).

There is a lot of information missing in order to give you a good answer regarding whether you should tell the employer now or after the probation period.

For example, if it is a small company, where your pregnancy might make things harder for the employer, and if you already know that you want to quit after the baby is born, then I think the "morally correct" thing to do is to tell them now.

On the other hand, if it is a large company with plentiful resources and if you see yourself working there after the birth, then it makes sense to allow them to invest in you.

By the way, do not let anyone influence your decision about having a career after the baby is born. Children progress well when their parents are fulfilled and give them quality time. I know several stay-at-home moms who are (in my opinion) doing a bad parenting job for various reasons.
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Old 16.08.2015, 00:00
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Re: Pregnant during first 3 months probation

I was in a similar position although it was internal transfer. I was offered a job the day after I found out I was pregnant. I consulted a friend that works in HR and she advised me to tell my manager right away. I am also a manager of a large team so I think about this when I hire women. Telling my new boss was a very stressful situation but his response was 'it was gonna happen sometime', so clearly he new a women my age would have another baby.

If you like the job, intend to keep working and are good at what you do - tell your boss before you show, ideally sooner then later. If not he/she will feel like you lied. He/ she will be pissed off at first either way but giving them a longer period to plan for your absence and develop a plan is much more respectful and professional then hiding it as long as possible. Mat leave is only 4 months so they can plan around you - if they want to. I suggest you come with a tentative plan for your return to work and a timeline plan for planning your absence. It will show commitment and your value to the firm. Most of all - do not apologize or justify your pregnancy, you are allowed to have a baby!

And let's be honest, if they treat you like you bad now, it will not be better down the road and then you don't want to work there anyway.
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Old 16.08.2015, 00:09
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Re: Pregnant during first 3 months probation

Agreed but I would wait until after the 12 week scan before informing the employer. If they react badly to a pregnant worker then maybe it is not a company you want to work for anyway.

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I was in a similar position although it was internal transfer. I was offered a job the day after I found out I was pregnant. I consulted a friend that works in HR and she advised me to tell my manager right away. I am also a manager of a large team so I think about this when I hire women. Telling my new boss was a very stressful situation but his response was 'it was gonna happen sometime', so clearly he new a women my age would have another baby.

If you like the job, intend to keep working and are good at what you do - tell your boss before you show, ideally sooner then later. If not he/she will feel like you lied. He/ she will be pissed off at first either way but giving them a longer period to plan for your absence and develop a plan is much more respectful and professional then hiding it as long as possible. Mat leave is only 4 months so they can plan around you - if they want to. I suggest you come with a tentative plan for your return to work and a timeline plan for planning your absence. It will show commitment and your value to the firm. Most of all - do not apologize or justify your pregnancy, you are allowed to have a baby!

And let's be honest, if they treat you like you bad now, it will not be better down the road and then you don't want to work there anyway.
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Old 16.08.2015, 00:20
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Re: Pregnant during first 3 months probation

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If you like the job, intend to keep working and are good at what you do - tell your boss before you show, ideally sooner then later. If not he/she will feel like you lied.

And let's be honest, if they treat you like you bad now, it will not be better down the road and then you don't want to work there anyway.
Bosses should remember that women don't always just wait until after the 12th week to not be fired during pregnancy/delivery, but also for the reason that the embryo might not survive the 1st trimester...

If OP tells the boss after probation ends and things turn crappy, she can still give notice and leave before the 16 post-delivery weeks are up if she wants to - but the boss can't toss her. So, if it's not better down the road, as you say, she can still leave, she doesn't have to stay there just because law gives her the right to remain employed until 16 weeks after delivery. Why should she take the chance?
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Old 16.08.2015, 00:25
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Re: Pregnant during first 3 months probation

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Bosses should remember that women don't always just wait until after the 12th week to not be fired during pregnancy/delivery, but also for the reason that the embryo might not survive the 1st trimester...
Fully agree. If you are established in your role, I would tell at 16weeks. It's only in a new role that I think earlier is better. Earlier however needs to be decided by the mother, maybe it is 5 weeks maybe 12. But just letting people notice is something I would avoid.
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Old 16.08.2015, 01:11
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Re: Pregnant during first 3 months probation

Congratulations!!

What did you reply during the job interview when asked about pregnancy, having children? Personally, if there was a big discrepancy between your answer and your pregnancy, if I was your employer I wouldn't keep you beyond giving birth plus 16 weeks almost regardless of how good you are at your job.
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Old 16.08.2015, 01:35
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Re: Pregnant during first 3 months probation

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Congratulations!!

What did you reply during the job interview when asked about pregnancy, having children? Personally, if there was a big discrepancy between your answer and your pregnancy, if I was your employer I wouldn't keep you beyond giving birth plus 16 weeks almost regardless of how good you are at your job.

Sounds like you'd make a great boss.
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Old 16.08.2015, 02:31
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Re: Pregnant during first 3 months probation

Why does every one go into "it's going to be a problem mode? I'm delighted that The Happy Nest music and English teacher is expecting. Why reduce a wonderful thing into a mere irritation.
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Old 16.08.2015, 11:03
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Re: Pregnant during first 3 months probation

Don´t most people want to have kids? It seems to me that often people make an issue at work out of this but how else can there be kids?
Yes, I have had team members getting pregnant and staying home for maternity leave. It is annoying to have to arrange a work around but it is not too long a period. In Germany women can take up to 3 years and you have to keep the job open..... Now that is annoying.
OP, congratulations and hope all goes well!
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Old 16.08.2015, 11:25
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Re: Pregnant during first 3 months probation

I found out I was pregnant the second week in my employment.
Was not planned - just an amazing surprise.
Given I had to wait some weeks to ensure I remain pregnant... I told my boss a week before my probation ended.
Was not a problem, they were happy with my work and their plan was more in the long term. Of course it was inconvenient but most of the colleagues affected had kids or would like to have kids.
It's part of life..
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