Should a woman have to say if she's pregnant in a job interview?

Should a woman have to say if she's pregnant in a job interview?

Six in ten bosses think women should have to tell a potential employer if she is pregnant, according to research from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

The survey of 1,106 senior decision makers found that 44% of employers agree that women should work for an organisation for at least a year before deciding to have children, and almost half (46%) of employers agree it is reasonable to ask women if they have young children during the recruitment process.

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Comments (7)

  • W
    Mon, 5 Mar 2018 1:52pm GMT
    I actively avoid anything at interview that indicates I have small children as this has often been used as a reason to not promote even when I've applied directly for the role - "we thought you wouldn't be interested / committed as the role involves travel" and a reason I've lost out on work related opportunities "It isn't really fair that you go to that event / look after that account as you'll be off on maternity leave again soon"

    If employers were allowed to ask about your family situation at interview where would it stop? How is your fertility as were keen to employ people who aren't going to be taking time off to have kids? Are you in a stable relationship as we don't want emotionally fragile people in this role if you're likely to have a break up? Are you parents elderly as we don't want people taking too much time off to care for relatives etc Where would it stop?
  • K
    Tue, 20 Feb 2018 1:49pm GMT
    It's a bit ridiculous and short sighted considering the economics of it all - employers dont want to hire women who might get pregnant/ have children already etc etc
    Now consider those same employers who moan in 20 yrs time that they cant get staff because the birth rate of replacement is too low and the fact the economy is suffering due to not enough young people to support an older population, in addition to the lack of audience for the very products they are likely trying to sell!
  • Elle
    Tue, 20 Feb 2018 12:44am GMT
    It is really ridiculous that anything to do with maternity and family life, something that it is a completely natural occurence in human life is treated as a problem, an inconvenience, an issue, something that is "hard to deal with".

    Maybe it is time we start asking all male candidates if they plan to discriminate, sexually harass or bully an employee or colleague. From my experience all the costly and reputational troubles I have ever had to deal with have been due to male employees bullying, sexually harrasing or dicriminating against female or male employees/ colleagues.
  • Chris26
    Mon, 19 Feb 2018 4:36pm GMT
    The bullying tone of the EHRC does them no favours. They should be seeking to persuade employers of the value of diversity in the workforce not lecturing. Of course people should act legally and bullying is abhorrent. But ultimately in any society people obey the law because they want to and because if they don't the risks (of being caught and ofthe penalty) are too great. In this situation the risks are perceived as low so another tack should be adopted.
  • Rach
    Mon, 19 Feb 2018 2:56pm GMT
    It is terrible that people see woman with families as a negative.
    Just think of all those skills mothers (and fathers) have of organising, planning, negotiation and "office politics" (thinking of the times being polite and nice to parents that I really don't want interaction for myself or my child with and those discussions with the school teacher/childminder when getting reports of bad behaviour)

    I had my child after just over a year in a role and returned to the full time middle-manager role before the year of maternity leave I was entitled to finished....because I wanted to.

    I am also very lucky that my partner and our families have been very supportive and I have needed very little time off for childhood illnesses - I think less than two weeks in total in my child's first seven years of life.

    I even tell interviewers that I have child and confirm the support I have around to be working full time. I am honest at the get go as I want them to understand that I have priorities outside of work, I would like flexibility in my role to allow time for school plays/sport days (which I make the hours up for).

    However I did have a bad situation that when I was pregnant, my boss was not very supportive. In the interviews for my maternity cover remarked the role was potentially for 12 months but could be made perm depending on if I returned...this was in front of me!


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