I run a small business and my employee told me she was pregnant THREE WEEKS after I hired her, it's crippled my company

A WOMAN explained that she runs a small business and her new employee informed her that she was pregnant just three weeks after starting, leaving her business struggling.

The business owner said that she knew pregnant women were entitled to maternity leave but, as she was struggling to find a temporary replacement, her company would inevitably suffer.

The woman admitted that she was being unreasonable but was upset by the turn of events.

Taking to Mumsnet she said: "Ok so I know I am being unreasonable but venting a little.

"I took on my first full time employee in July this year (already have 1 x part timer). Three weeks in she disclosed that she is pregnant and is now off on mat leave.

"It’s an industry where recruiting is super difficult at the moment so getting a mat leave cover is likely to be practically impossible.

"I know it’s her right etc, and of course have treated her fairly and she will be returning whenever she chooses to return.

"But if I’m honest – it’s absolutely screwed our plans for any growth this year (on top of covid troubles).

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"While I know it’s 'right' would you take on a job in a small business when pregnant?"

Fellow Mumsnet users were split on how to respond to the situation, with some thinking the woman was being unreasonable to her pregnant employee.

One said: "Pregnant woman needs to work to pay the bills shocker."

Another said: "Ultimately women of childbearing ages need jobs, and if you ever take on any woman between the age of 20-40 you accept the possibility of her getting pregnant."

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But others felt that the situation wasn't fair on the employee.

One said: "To be honest, I'd have got rid of her in August when you found out she was pregnant, in her probationary period I'd have just said it isn't working out."

Another said: "You're really not being unreasonable. Yes she is protected by law, but next time you have a post to fill it will be in the back of your mind.

"Anyone that says it wouldn't occur to them obviously isn't running a small business. It sets things back when this happens. No matter what is lawful, it's screwed you over."

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