Young Parents Team
How do you tell your employer that you’re pregnant, especially when you know he won’t be happy about it?
Sher-li Torrey, founder of Mums@Work (Singapore), which has 5,000 members, says cases of dismissal or changes in work situation because of a pregnancy are not uncommon.
The social enterprise helps mums who want flexi-work arrangements. She hears of at least one or two cases each month.
Sher-li believes most bosses don’t personally discriminate against pregnancy.
“It’s usually due to a fear that your work performance will be affected, compromising productivity. He’s likely to be worried that things will change drastically when you’re pregnant or after you’ve given birth to your child,” she explains.
What you can do
Before you choose to tell your boss about your pregnancy, think from his point of view: What are the changes that may occur? Do you have possible solutions for them?
“Although this is no guarantee, by showing your boss you’re equally concerned about any changes – and that you’re willing to work with him to ease the situation – it’s likely he will take your pregnancy news a little better,” says Sher-li.
If you were dismissed unfairly or feel that you have been discriminated, you can file a case against your employer at the Ministry of Manpower, she says.
“There’s actually no legislation that protects such dismissal at the moment. However, the ministry will actually help to mediate between both parties.”
You can also contact the Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices. Be very clear in showing proof of unfair treatment, though – stick to the facts and don’t be too emotional, Sher-li advises.