Pregnant Workers and New Mothers


Pregnant Workers and New Mothers

Employers have legal requirements to safeguard the health and safety of pregnant workers and new mothers.


• the requirement to carry out a risk assessment and take preventive action

• suspension from work on maternity grounds

• facilities and breastfeeding

• impact of pregnancy and new motherhood on work 

According to recent Government figures approximately 350,000 pregnant women are at work every year and 240,000 return to work within a year of giving birth.

Safe and healthy working conditions are vital for men, as well as women, when couples are trying to conceive. A workplace that is safe for pregnant workers and new mothers should be safer for everybody. You can use health and safety law to negotiate better working conditions and at the same time encourage a gender-sensitive approach to workplace health and safety to ensure equal rights to protection for all members. 

The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations l999 

These regulations set out the legal requirements for the risk assessment of hazards in the workplace. 
They make special provisions for women who:

• are pregnant

• have recently given birth (in the last six months)

• have had a stillborn baby after 24 weeks of pregnancy 

Not complying with these regulations means that the employer could potentially face both a criminal prosecution and a civil claim.

What can reps do?

Please click on the links below to find out what you can do to support women affected by pregnancy in the workplace

Women’s Health and Safety at Work Toolkit

Educate Agitate Organise Blog

Educate Agitate Organise: the STUC Blog

Educate Agitate Organise: the STUC blog


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