If you're going for a job interview soon, here's what you should know if you're expecting or plan to have kids in the not-distant-at-all future
29 September 2020| Last updated on 8 February 2021
Received a job interview? Congratulations!
You're also pregnant? Another congratulations are in order. As a pregnant job seeker, there's a chance you may be feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of both your professional and personal life begging for your attention.
You may also be wondering when and if you should tell a prospective employer that you're pregnant, and whether informing them may affect your chance to get your foot in the door.
Here's what you must know before you disclose you're pregnant to an interviewer in the UAE...
What does the UAE law say about disclosing pregnancy?
As per the UAE's Labour Law, it's not mandatory for job applicants to mention that they're pregnant during a job interview.
Moreover, Article 30 of the UAE Labour Law prohibits employers from terminating a pregnant staff member for her pregnancy.
If you're in the UAE on an unlimited labour contract, you may be given a termination notice at any time, but the employer must have a valid reason why, such as conduct, poor performance, or inability to work. Pregnancy is not a valid reason for terminating your employment.
While this may be the case, it's also important to consider how delaying the news may be perceived in your future work relationships. The ideal candidate is usually someone who isn't just well-experienced, but she must also be dependable, honest and a team player.
If you do get the job and you opted to avoid disclosing your pregnancy during a job interview, the worse case scenario is that it may paint you as someone who is the opposite of those traits.
There isn't really anything legally or truly ethically misleading about waiting until you’ve started a new job to inform them about your pregnancy. The timing of that conversation can be a very personal decision for mums. Of course when you do start working at a new company, you're still required to inform your employer that you're pregnant so you can begin to plan your maternity leave.
With this in mind, we've got a few tips to consider if you want to tell an interviewer that you're pregnant.
1. Address the interviewer's concerns
Unfortunately, there are some interviewers who will look at your pregnancy and future maternity leave as a burden.
Try to address the interviewer's concerns regarding your pregnancy and the job, which are usually how long will you be away from the office, if they need someone to fill in for you, and if you will be committed to your role.
During your pregnancy, you may find yourself leaving early or coming in late due to doctor's appointments, morning sickness and other pregnancy-related ailments. As a result, this could cause inconsistency with your office hours, and the concern lies on whether you'll be able to provide the company with enough support in your role.
If you're already showing, there's a chance a recruiter may make assumptions and hidden biases. By speaking up about it first, you may just give yourself a chance to actively counter their concerns.
You can begin by being forthright with your pregnancy and tell them your plan. For example, if you're due in six months, disclose the expected due date.
You can let the interviewer know you've been healthy throughout your pregnancy and you will continue to work up until it's closer to your delivery date. Try letting them know your plans after giving birth and how soon you can expect to resume your tasks, even if it's from home.
Knowing about your pregnancy may be more advantageous for employers, as they will know about it and can plan for it sooner.
If you've previously been pregnant while working for another company, consider describing to your interviewer how you managed the workload and how you resumed your work duties after delivery.
2. Shift the discussion away from your family plans
Ask the interviewer questions about the organization to try and steer the conversation away from your family plans and back to where it should be: your qualifications, experience, and strengths and how it aligns with the job requirements.
Help them recognize that your childbearing will have no effect on how you can perform the requested duties.
Emphasize your enthusiasm for the role, your interest in a long-term career with the company, and that you will come back to work after maternity leave.
3. You will not be an inconvenience
During the interview, you are your own best advocate for articulating your value.
Let the recruiter know that the few weeks of absence caused by your maternity leave will be minuscule compared to the service and benefits you will bring to the organization in the long term.
Regardless of how the interview plays out in the end, it's best to go for an organization that supports new moms and can be a great partner in your career.