Maternity and Parenting – Your Questions

Last reviewed on 20/11/2012 17:32

Question: I'm pregnant and working. What are my health and safety rights?

A: If you are pregnant, have recently given birth, or are breastfeeding, your employer must make sure that the kind of work you do and your working conditions will not put your own health or your baby's health at risk.

The law requires your employer to protect you at work while you are pregnant as well as when you return to work as a new mother.

To get the full benefit of this protection, you must notify your employer in writing that you are pregnant, have recently given birth, or are breastfeeding. Your employer may ask for a certificate from your GP or midwife, confirming you are pregnant.

Your employer should carry out a risk assessment of the work you do and look at your working conditions. If any activities or working conditions are found to be a risk to your health or your baby, your employer must remove or reduce that risk.

If the risks remain, your employer must temporarily alter your working conditions or hours of work to remove the risk. If this is not possible, they must offer you a suitable alternative job. If they can't offer you a suitable alternative job, your employer should suspend you on full pay for as long as is necessary to avoid the risks.

→ Visit the Health and Safety Executive's topic pages for mothers (external site)

→ Read more on Maternity and Parenting

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