Does an employee have to disclose her pregnancy when applying for a job?

Sep 13, 2017


One question that is always raised by employers and employees when it comes to maternity leave matters is whether or not employees or job applicants should disclose that they are pregnant when applying for a job.

The answer to the question is: An employee DOES NOT have to disclose her pregnancy when applying for a job.

In the case of Thandi Mashava v Cuzen and Woods Attorneys (2000) 21 ILJ 402 (LC) the Court held that employees need not disclose their pregnancy to their employers. The Court also found that the dismissal of Thandi Mashava on the basis of deceit for withholding that information from her employer amounted to an automatically unfair dismissal.

In 2012, Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO set a precedent as the first woman to ever take the top position while pregnant. While women do not have to disclose that they are pregnant to prospective employers, Mayer chose to reveal her pregnancy.

Mayer said that the Yahoo board seemed unconcerned about the pregnancy, saying, ‘They showed their evolved thinking.’

This is exactly the kind of thinking that all employers must show in their workplaces.

The content does not constitute legal advice, are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Kindly contact us on or 021 556 1075 to speak to one of our consultants.


Wallace Albertyn

Wallace Albertyn is a Senior Associate and Legal Advisor at LabourMan Consultants.

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