There are specific laws which require the University as an employer to protect the health and safety of new and expectant mothers. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires that ‘suitable and sufficient’ risk assessments are carried out for work activities, which take into account any specific risks to female members of staff of child-bearing age who could become pregnant, and any risks to new and expectant mothers.
A specific risk assessment should be undertaken in consultation with your line manager. Examples of common risks include:
- lifting and carrying loads
- workstation and posture
- stress levels
- exposure to infectious diseases
- handling chemicals
Staff working in radioisotope laboratories or with controlled biological and chemical materials are strongly advised they should notify their Schoo/Department Safety Officer of their pregnancy as soon as their condition has been confirmed.
The outcome of the risk assessment may indicate an adjustment in work activities to remove the hazard for the period of pregnancy. Where this is not possible for operational or research reasons, then you may need to be found alternative duties of an appropriate nature, or you could be suspended from work on full pay for as long as necessary on the grounds of health and safety. In such cases, there will be no impact on the maternity leave or maternity pay.
The risk assessment will need to be reviewed on a regular basis as the risks identified will vary depending on your health and at different stages of your pregnancy and return to work phase.
For further information please read the New and Expectant Mothers at Work Policy, available from the Safety Office. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) also has some useful guidance.
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 requires that the University as an employer provides suitable facilities for pregnant mothers to rest. If you require such facilities you should speak to your line manager.
Last edited Jun 30, 2016