Ask Timpo: Should I hire a soon-to-be mother?

A: Not only are you flying in the face of all the sensible anti discrimination guidelines but by rejecting any candidates that might possibly become pregnant, you are shutting the door to some of the top talent around.

You don’t know whether she will have a baby ? nor does she. It may be years before she becomes a mother, or she might be pregnant within days. She might return to her job within weeks of the birth or never come back. You can’t predict the future, but you are pretty sure that she will do a good job for as long as she works for you.

Life is about taking chances. If you are unwilling to take any risks, you will finish up with a boring business. With a conservative selection policy that always picks the safe candidate, you will be surrounded by dull men without one woman anywhere near the boardroom.

We have a fairly fertile workforce with a lot of mums on the payroll, most of whom had their maternity leave with Timpson before returning to continue their career. It works for us. I see no reason why you should be different.

Don’t think a moment longer. Hire the best person for the job.

John Timpson runs high-street cobbler Timpson, which has 800 branches nationwide and sales of ?150m. Got a question for him? Post it in the comments box below or email

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