By Allison Venditti (November 24, 2022)

Pregnant woman beside window.

Now? Tomorrow? Next week? Next month?

Deciding how to inform your employer about your pregnancy and subsequent leave is a big decision but we are here to help.

Below we have outlined some considerations for how to announce your pregnancy at work.

Your relationship with your boss.

Most people tell us this is the biggest factor. Your relationship with your boss can make all the difference in announcing your leave. If you have a great relationship then set up a coffee and let them know in person.

HR prefers things in writing.

Even if you verbally inform your coworkers or boss, it is really important that you notify HR in writing about your plans. You should include your parental leave start date and any regular appointments for which you may need accommodation. This information is best sent in an email so HR can add the information to your file and you both have a virtual paper trail.

Consider how you want your pregnancy shared.

Do you prefer to make the announcement yourself? Do you want your boss to let your coworkers know? Do you want to send out an email? Make an announcement over lunch? The great part is that this is YOUR pregnancy so you get to decide. Whatever you end up deciding make sure you communicate your wishes with your supervisor.

Take your time.

Many clients we have worked with have concerns about giving their employer enough time to plan for their leave. As someone who has worked in HR for over a decade, this is not something you should feel rushed about. After all, when an employee quits, we typically get two weeks notice and yet, we make it work.

Remember, you are not the first person to go on maternity leave. If you need more time or aren’t ready to share your news yet, it’s okay. Legally, most provinces in Canada only require you to provide four weeks notice to your employer before your maternity leave. You have plenty of time!

Did you find this article helpful? Register for our My Parental Leave course and get instant access to valuable information, planning calendars and FAQs to help you feel prepared for your maternity leave and return to work.

About the author

About the author: Allison Venditti

Allison Venditti, CHRP, CHRL is a career coach, Human Resources and return-to-work expert with over 15 years of experience creating programs, policy and best practices that improve workplace cultures and increase employee retention. She is the founder of My Parental Leave and Moms at Work, Canada’s largest professional network for working moms