Sea swimming essentials every first-timer should have on their list
Sea swimming essentials every first-timer should have on their list

Sarah Finnan

Calling all biscuit lovers! We’re giving away a hamper of Maltesers biscuits
Calling all biscuit lovers! We’re giving away a hamper of Maltesers biscuits

Lauren Heskin

Would you tell a friend if they’d gone overboard with Botox or fillers?
Would you tell a friend if they’d gone overboard with Botox or fillers?

Amanda Cassidy

What to make this weekend: A grown-up ice-cream sundae
What to make this weekend: A grown-up ice-cream sundae

Meg Walker

How to stop procrastinating what you know you have to face
How to stop procrastinating what you know you have to face

Niamh Ennis

Step off the hamster wheel of dieting: an in-depth guide to intuitive eating
Step off the hamster wheel of dieting: an in-depth guide to intuitive eating

Melanie Morris

Ouai x Byredo is back with more scented haircare
Ouai x Byredo is back with more scented haircare

Holly O'Neill

This recently renovated Ranelagh home is on the market for €1.25 million
This recently renovated Ranelagh home is on the market for €1.25 million

Megan Burns

Considering getting hitched at home? Two couples on their at-home weddings
Considering getting hitched at home? Two couples on their at-home weddings

Lizzie Gore-Grimes

With soon-to-be-three salons, a beauty brand and a little one at home, Kate Verling of Mink Hand and Foot Spa on mastering multitasking
With soon-to-be-three salons, a beauty brand and a little one at home, Kate Verling of...

Lauren Heskin

Image / Self

How to find out about maternity leave before accepting a job


by Colette Sexton
30th Sep 2020

Find out about maternity leave

blank

Asking about maternity benefits during a job application process can be difficult, but it should not have to be 


When employees try to woo a potential employee, they lay it all out: the salary, the bonus opportunities, the health insurance deals, the pension scheme, the long-term career opportunities, the social life within the company, flexible hours, paid gym membership, hell, even pool tables in the office.

But the one thing that is rarely, if ever, revealed, is their maternity leave policy, and it is the hardest benefit to ask about when being offered a role.

Many women might even base their final decision on whether the company offers paid maternity leave or not, but if they do not know then they have to take a risk on it.

 Susie Farrell, founder and director of Addison Recruitment, an executive recruitment firm, says this is not just an issue in Ireland, but happens globally. 

Hiding a pregnancy

“Becoming pregnant is life-changing but it can be loaded with concern for many professional women,” Susie said. 

“Many women — including myself — have “hidden” their pregnancies for as long as possible. I know when I became pregnant with my second child, I had also started up my own business and didn’t share my ‘baby’ news with many clients until the last few weeks of my pregnancy. I worried about their perception of my professional commitment and that if I was for any time ‘absent’, they would work with another recruitment partner,” she said.

Susie says she would encourage companies to be open and discuss their policies for both maternity and paternity leave, and that it should be as clear as when they share other benefits such as annual leave or employee discounts.

If a company is offering attractive maternity entitlements, then there is no reason why they should keep this quiet during the hiring process as it could help to attract talent. She said that good parental benefits show that the company recognises the importance of family and allowing their employees time to bond with their children. 

She said: “Women should be able to plan their finances – having a child is expensive and if they are not going to receive pay for a number of months (depending on what is offered in the first place) she needs to know before accepting the role and decide is it all really worth the move?”

As Susie points out, the more companies that openly share this information, the more it will become the norm.

Parental benefits

Unfortunately, it is not the norm yet, and leaves many people, both men and women, afraid of asking about parental benefits during the interview process in case they risk not getting the job. 

If anyone is brave enough to ask the question before an official offer is made, it could damage the women’s chances of getting the job.

Some hiring managers will internally be asking themselves how challenging could it be to find a maternity cover placement for this role in potentially 12 months? This would particularly apply if the role is hard to recruit in the first place.

There are some ways to find out about parental policies without asking directly. Susie suggests finding someone in your personal or professional network who works in the company or previously worked there and who will fill you in.

Another option is a website called “Fairygodboss” which offers a database of companies and their maternity leave policies.

This is originally a US-based start-up so if you’re looking to join any multinational with offices in Ireland, you will be able to access the information pretty easily. 

If those options do not work for you and you need to know the maternity leave policy, Susie suggests that you ask the question after the offer has been made. She adds that it is important to find out if there is a certain tenure in the role before a maternity benefit can be approved to the employee. 

Even though it is illegal, it is likely that some companies in Ireland still discriminate against women they think might have a baby shortly after they secure the job. But it is not all bad news.

Susie says: “Every day I speak to companies who are keen to hire the right talent, the right people for their business. If they identify someone who is a fit, and plan to have a baby – this is the modern world.

“Women can work and have babies. Most hiring managers have this understanding and will hire on the candidate’s ability to do the job regardless of planning to have a child or not.”


Read more: Tips from a new dad

Read more: First-time fatherhood

Read more: 5 things you’ll think when you have your second child

Also Read

blank
premium HEALTH & WELLNESS, REAL-LIFE STORIES
‘He raped me. That’s my truth. That’s my story’ 

Dublin barrister, M, was raped in Paris two decades ago. She has since realised that every woman has a story...

By IMAGE

school age
PARENTHOOD
Should you wait until your child is five to start ‘big’ school? We asked child psychologists for their advice

Do you start your child in school as soon as he or she is eligible, or do you wait a...

By Amanda Cassidy

advice
ADVICE, REAL-LIFE STORIES
Words to live by: Life advice from every age, eight to 80

Advice is something that’s easy to give but hard to live by says Sophie White, who spoke to eight women...

By Sophie White

blank
premium HEALTH & WELLNESS, PARENTHOOD
Rosemary MacCabe: ‘I thought I’d accepted my body – then I got pregnant’

Rosemary MacCabe’s changing pregnant body led her to realise that she was not as comfortable in her skin as she...

By Rosemary MacCabe

blank
PARENTHOOD
The jump from one to two children: “I was afraid I’d used up all my love on our first baby”

You can’t ever imagine you will love someone as much as you love your first child. How could there possibly be...

By Amanda Cassidy

change
ADVICE
Stuck in a life rut and ready for a change? Here’s how to make it happen

You’re stuck. You’re totally fed up watching, as everyone seems to glide past you, moving on up to newer brighter...

By Niamh Ennis

wedding guest list
ADVICE, RELATIONSHIPS, WEDDINGS
Plus None: has Covid redefined the traditional wedding guest list?

How would you feel if you opened up the invitation to a good friends’ wedding, only to realise that your partner, your significant other, had been deliberately left off?

By IMAGE