31 Aug 2016
Last time I admitted I was on the beginning pretty stressed about pregnancy at work. I always just have in my mind stories about mothers to be who lost jobs because of growing bump. I do not want to say it did happened to my employer with other women, but I need to agree I felt quite cautious atmosphere regarding to all procedures.
I must say I love Citizen Information website. I always have since I came to Ireland. That is such a handy institution, which will always help you and will look after all your rights. But you need to mind nobody will convince you what to do to loose as less as you can. Deep reading and study what you are allowed to do with job correlation and how to use this beautiful time. I have today a pack of few guidelines!
Antenatal appointments. You can go for them during your work. You do not need to take day off, run on your break or so. I could organise my time in way when I was going to see my doctor during work time and had paid as usual. My HR was not a big deal and it was just enough to said when I have next term, but sometimes you will need to give 2 weeks notice in written. But they need to accept that!
Antenatal classes. If I could I would go once again. They are just great! I don't know yet if everything will be helpful, but we met many couples, heard incredible stories, learnt how to breathe, change a baby, feed and were just inspired. Our midwife was charming woman with such a positive attitude! I wish I could have her on my labour ward! In hospital which I chose classes are organised as 5 weeks courses. I booked them straight after my first visit in hospital as I've been told they are all booked up in a flash. Ask your employer how many of them you are entitled as paid time off. I went for three classes during my working hours and two had on my holidays. Also my husband's employer was understanding and even though he was entitled paid time off for two of them he did attended with me for all set. We just tried to set our time to have everything sorted and enjoy the together.
Maternity leave. In Ireland we are entitled to 26 weeks paid and 16 weeks unpaid maternity leave. Women are qualified without a fail to maternity benefit through Social Welfare and if you are lucky your employer may pay you some extra money for that period. I do not want to describe all paper work which needs to be done to get benefit, but if you are pregnant check mentioned website and Social Welfare restrictions. Print your documents and be aware that time flies and very soon you will be 30 weeks pregnant! You can start work on your documents up from 24 weeks pregnant and I regret I did not. I would avoid all stress and running. Eventually I sent my application about two weeks late and I was worried if everything would go as it should. Even though I got reply in one week or so and I did qualified. Hooray!
Do not forget your maternity leave is not a holidays. It is a time treated like time in work, so you can have all your annual leave for the year when you go for maternity. In my case it will be two years! So I decided to have some proper holidays as well as just to take some of those straight before maternity leave. I am way to big to run and manage all things at work. Also I don't know when I will have a chance to rest next time!
Paternity leave. That such a new thing in Ireland! Fathers are entitled to paternity leave with effect from 1st of September, which is tomorrow. Dads can take 2 weeks paid same as maternity leave in 6 months after baby's birth. I am quite happy with the option and I am very sure at some stage we will take advantage of it!
If you have any doubts see here: