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Unplanned pregnancy for young HK teacher

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  1. #1

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    Unplanned pregnancy for young HK teacher

    Hi,

    Need some advice as per the captioned title suggests.

    I'm a fresh graduate and just started my first year of teaching in Hong Kong. Also just found out around a week ago that I have been pregnant with my first child since October 2018, meaning I am approaching 20 weeks now. Although it is unplanned, I've decided to continue with the pregnancy.

    However, the school I work for is strictly religious and belongs to the Band 1 category. As a young (I'm in my early 20's) and unmarried teacher, I understand the repercussions to come for me in the near future if I continue working for the school. I also understand that it is very irresponsible on my end and it really devastates me to have to cause trouble for the school.

    With this, I've decided that I will be resigning early (contract ends on Aug. this year) and will be giving my one month's notice next week. I'm unsure and feeling quite anxious with what my employer will decide on.

    I would appreciate any advice/insight on what I should do to ease the resignation process. Also would like to know if I'll have to pay as form of liquidated damages to the school (I'm a HK resident). Thanks


  2. #2

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    Why not to talk to the principle? I suspect even religious people get pregnant occasionally, maybe they'll understand and you will be able to work more, if that's what you would like.


  3. #3

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    The school is legally prohibited from firing you because you are pregnant. It is your human right to have a child and you don't need to resign. You're entitled to maternity leave and then you can think about hiring a helper or resigning to look after your child full time.


  4. #4

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    Congratulations

    Quote Originally Posted by HKTeacherInNeed
    It is an unplanned pregnancy.

    However, the school I work for is strictly religious and belongs to the Band 1 category. As a young (I'm in my early 20's) and unmarried teacher, I understand the repercussions to come for me in the near future if I continue working for the school.
    Many many pregnancies are unplanned it really is not that unusual.

    Your employer has no right to treat you differently because you are pregnant. Your personal life is your own and having a baby could never be considered as bringing the school into disrepute!!!

    It is wonderful news and you should not worry about the school's reaction. SImple to say but you have the full weight of the law on your side.

    As the poster above says you should take your legally entitled maternity leave and plan your next steps for after that time.
    Last edited by East_coast; 17-02-2019 at 08:46 PM.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by orel100x
    Why not to talk to the principle? I suspect even religious people get pregnant occasionally, maybe they'll understand and you will be able to work more, if that's what you would like.
    This. Talk to Principal, I am sure they will be glad you are keeping the baby. You may be pleasantly surprised by their reaction. As TB said whatever their feelings you are entitled to maternity leave.
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  6. #6

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    Having a child is not trouble for a school. They depend on children for their survival.

    Whatever you do, don't quit. You'll receive sick days and maternity leave if you started working in September 2018. These are crucial for the well-being of you and the child. If you wish to part with the school, then do it after the maternity leave. But as suggested, talk to the principal first.

    Last edited by civil_servant; 17-02-2019 at 08:54 PM.
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  7. #7

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    Thanks for the insight.

    I understand that I'm entitled to a maternity leave, but being the youngest staff member in my department, I can't help but feel frowned upon once my pregnancy bump starts to appear.

    I want to avoid these negative feelings altogether, therefore I really want to press on with resigning.

    My next question would be apart from giving my one month's notice, will the school require me to pay for any liquidated damages as a result of breach of contract?


  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by HKTeacherInNeed
    Being the youngest staff member in my department, I can't help but feel frowned upon once my pregnancy bump starts to appear.

    I want to avoid these negative feelings altogether, therefore I really want to press on with resigning.
    I would suggest you talk to your principal first before 2nd guessing what the school or other people think. Hopefully you'll be very surprised by the reaction of people. If the conversation goes badly stick with it for a few months then take maternity. I am sure there will be some supportive people at your place of work.

    Perhaps rather than just take advice from a bunch of internet strangers you should also look to get some proper support through counselling as they will be more aware of the concerns you have and advice on the way to approach these concerns for the long term benefit of you and the child.

    St. John's Counselling Service
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  9. #9

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    From a strictly legal perspective, if you breach contract by saying you will leave before either end of contract or expiry of your notice period, the school would have the right to ask for damages - the amount will (usually) depend on the terms of your contract.

    Given your wish to leave (even if it means forgoing your rights to maternity leave etc), I suggest starting by discussing with the school principal (or whoever is the relevant person), and see what the response is before you tell them you want to resign. You will probably have a better outcome if your exit is a mutually agreed position rather than a unilateral resignation.

    Bear in mind you can always resign if the discussions do not go well.


  10. #10

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    I understand that you feel embarrassed about your situation in regards to the school and that perhaps you'd rather keep it quiet then have those discussions but at the same time, you will possibly start to show and there could me medical issues relating to your child so it is much better and safer to have that uncomfortable discussion with your principal or supervisor.

    The best approach it would seem would be to let them make the decision that way, you will not be in breach of contract. You tell them you understand that it may not fit in with the school moral ethos and that you are prepared to resign if it is what they wish. If they surprise you then you may still have a job at least until the end of your contract, if they wish you to leave then it is their decision and there should be no financial repercussions. Remember the bigger picture and that your first responsibility is to your child and not an employer. Try to take the decision that will be best for both of you. Best of luck with your situation. Hope that your family and the father will also provide support.

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