Certain work activities and processes can adversely affect women who are expecting, or their unborn child. The risks may be physical (e.g. manual handling, ionising radiation), biological (e.g. contact with blood and body fluids, micro-organisms, zoonoses) or chemical (e.g. carcinogenic substances). Information will be provided to female workers of childbearing age in relation to work activities and processes that could adversely affect them.
Where the nature of the work area or work activities may present a risk to a new or expectant mother it is the responsibility of that person to notify local management at the earliest opportunity to enable the work to be specifically assessed. Where significant risks are identified appropriate action will be taken. The Head of School may require written confirmation of pregnancy from her medical adviser. Similar arrangements also apply to those who return to work and are breastfeeding where aspects of the work could adversely affect them or the infant.
In all circumstances it is the responsibility of the individual to notify the Human Resources Department of pregnancy in accordance with the University's Maternity Leave Regulations, i.e. receipt of a 'Mat B' Certificate 13 weeks before the expected date of confinement.
There may be other issues to be considered that might affect the expectant mother at work, including nightworking and rest at work and for those returning to work, breastfeeding or expressing milk in the workplace. Further information is contained in the University's Guidance document on this topic.
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