Pregnant during Graduate Scheme / Training Contract


What happens if you become pregnant (obviously this only applies to women) during your graduate scheme or training contract?

Would an employer let you have time off? Would you have to defer an entire year? Often the training on graduate schemes is highly structured - if you missed three months, could you come back?


I imagine the equality rights in professional services/accountancy firms are really good so I don’t think you should have any problem going off on maternity leave. They’d work something out for you.


This reminds me about Natasha Kaplinski’s story at Channel 5.


…totally screwed them over. Imagine if someone did that to a small company - a local shop for example. Harsh.


I imagine that the firm would let you postpone all you exams and then you would be like a regular employee- they’ll sort you out.

If it were me, I would make use of the maternity leave to do some studying to ease burden when you get back to work.


I am not sure about what would happen in an accountancy firm but my friend at a magic circle firm told me that if you take a chunk of time off your training contract, such as 3-6 months, the law society rules mean that you would have to start your training contract again afresh. The other danger of getting pregnant is the timing. It is possible that if your employer realises you are pregnant when your training contract is almost over and you are due for renewal, they may not renew your contract. I don’t know if the same thing happens in accountancy firms.


I think if you could prove that your employer didn’t renew your contract just because of a pregnancy then you’d have a case for unfair dismissal. Law firms tend to be pretty PC about things like this…