Asha, 32, has just come away from an interview having being offered a salaried post. The job seems almost too good to be true: reasonable hours, BMA contract, a great sessional rate and protected time to develop a clinical interest.
But that isn’t the real reason why she wants the job. Fact is, it’s near home, no extended hours and there is a nursery nearby.
Asha is 13 weeks pregnant. She’s happy about the job but even more excited about having a baby.
As she reaches in her bag for her phone to ring her husband with the news, in the back of her mind she is wondering: should she have told the partners about the pregnancy at the interview or is it better just to keep schtum?
The legal answer
Asha does not have to tell her new practice she is pregnant. Legally she can wait until the 15th week before her baby is due – 25 weeks into the pregnancy.
If she did tell them now and they withdrew the job offer, she could (if she could prove it), pursue them for discrimination.
The moral dilemma
Asha is now feeling guilty about not being straight with her new employer. She wishes it had been easier to tell them but she was worried how they would react.
Some practices will be genuinely happy for her but others might be issuing their congratulations through gritted teeth.
By not telling them until 25 weeks, Asha will also loose out on her entitlement to paid time off for antenatal appointments.
Hiding a pregnancy, in any case, is not always that easy. If Asha is sporting the pale, queasy look and nibbling ginger biscuits, she may find herself quickly outed on the practice grapevine by astute female receptionists and GPs…
What should Asha do? Should she fess up or just keep quiet until they notice?