Maternity Leave and Research jobs

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Let me start by saying, i'm not pregnant and am not planning to be for at least a year. But I am late 20s and hubby has expressed a wish to at somepoint have a small Sneaks running about (what a nightmare!). Anyway, my trouble is, it looks like I have a 12 month research job lined up - but while that is great, it means I'm not in a job that can offer me mat leave.

What do research workers do about this - I would feel awful signing up to an 18 month reserach project for example and then 2 months in announcing I'm going to be leaving for half of it. But then I'm not sure if me and hubs have enough cash for me to take mat leave outside of employment - and then have the risk of finding it v difficult to get back into employment afterwards.

Anyway, what are your experiences? sometimes it is v annoying being a woman!


Good news about the job, I hope it works out. However, given that it's a 12 month research contract, would you not be looking for either an extended contract or another post of longer duration within that time. Loyalty is a great quality but I don't think an employer would expect you to stay to the very end and risk unemployment after. Sorry I couldn't answer your question but would just think it may not be an issue, in a sense.


Hahaha Sneaks, you had me wondering.....!  Some jobs will pay SMP with additional company plans if you sign up to return to work. Alternatively, I would suggest that it is worth looking into maternity allowance that is paid if your earnings were lower or have been employed within the last 12 months (I think).  When I went on mat leave I was paid SMP. Then I quit my job after mat leave as I was pregnant again with twins with leave to start when I went back to work after DD1:$ As I was effectively unemployed but had been getting a salary within the last 12 months I qualified for MA (paid via the job centre).  So really a lot depend on what you earn, or have earned!

I would take a job if it comes up as you cannot say how long it may take to fall pregnant and keep it. There are lots of women who take months of trying to conceive and quite a number that miscarry too. It would not be wise to announce a pregnancy until 12 weeks (the safer time) which would be three months into employment.  You can work up until the due date as long as the necessary assessments have been done (ie working with hazardous conditions etc). Chances are you would not be the sole RA on a project but in any case the post could be advertised for maternity cover which allows you to go back again afterwards.

I also think it best not to try to plan these things or think too much about it, just take it as it comes!!


hey sneaks well done on the research job.... I would say sign up for it ... and as delta suggested keep you eyes peeled for a more permanent position ... at the end of the day you need to look out for NO.1 if you left a research team there is always 20 other researchers that can be brought in, it will not ne the end of the world .... I think thats how you could look at it ????;-)

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I'm actually in a very odd position at the mo. I have at least 3 job offers, but I'm playing a waiting game (read: spinning plates).

I have..

Job 1: supervisor offered 12 months research work. Pros = get great publications from this, have time to publish my own work Cons = I live 2 hours away, so would have to commute a lot, but she'd let me work from home 4 days a week I reckon.

Job 2: Teaching in another uni - offered about 10 hours a week, but its really what I'd expect a 1st year PhD to be doing. BUT its a 20 min walk!

Job 3: Applied for a job at the same uni as Job 2 - waiting to hear. This would be ideal as I would propose to sup that I carry on researching with her, while teaching at the other uni (i.e. do collaborative research across the unis). But not sure if I'll even get an interview. My gut feeling is to turn down Job 2 (which is pretty much a concrete offer) if they don't want me for job 3, because I'm not a mug and Job1 is better over Job 2.

Anyway - its exhausting thing about this!

My gut reaction is that Job 3 would be great for mat leave. But if I'm not offered that and go with Job 1, it is only 12 months, and I'm the only RA there. Obviously I wouldn't need to take time off during that, but it does mean I'm potentially jobless this time next year and going through it all again and if I fall pregnant I'll be out of work for ages.

Have no fear - I've had 3 friends lose their babies at 6, 7 and 8 months, so am definitely not complacent. I'm really supersticious too, so the plan is to wear a big jumper and not announce it until 7 months - I have put on weight over the PhD, so I reckon if I lose that, get pregnant - then people will jsut think I stayed the same size :p


tbh, I agree with Dunni in that don't overthink it. Also whichever and whatever you get offered/decide to take, EU regulations are such that you can't be punished for being pregnant. A job is different to being a student as in you do have more rights. I take your point about feeling bad etc but it may or may not happen. Many a teacher seem to have all their babies in November!


I should also add that if you apply for jobs having just had a baby you do not need to add your children onto the application form. They have no legal right to ask and you do not have to disclose this. If at such time you are offered a position your legally entitled to request flexible working hours. As Ady has stated the laws are in place so that women with children are not discriminated against in employment. Obviously, your permanent option would be much more secure for your future plans but you have to take what you can get sometimes!

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Thanks for the advice, I just wish Job 3 would hurry up with their decision - I haven't told sup I've applied for it, so I'd really like to know if I've got it before she goes ahead and makes loads of effort to get me a job (which she has started doing already). HUbs has also applied for a job at the same place, so we'd be really sorted if we both worked there!


I've been wondering about this one, but it's all in the future as I', yet to convinve OH that a little Catalinbond is a good idea! He might go for it if I suggest I keep working and he's a stay at home Dad.

Good luck on the job front too.