HSE updates guidance on pregnancy and the workplace

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has updated its pregnancy and the workplace guidance for employers in relation to new and expectant mothers. 

A government survey in 2016 found that thousands of expectant mothers had to leave their jobs because risk factors to their pregnancy at work were not being addressed.  As a result, the HSE has strengthened its guidance to employers in relation to new and expectant mothers.  

What does the guidance say? 

It emphasises the importance of ongoing and open discussions along with the duty of an employer to carry out individual risk assessments that cover the worker’s specific needs once they have informed the employer in writing that they are pregnant, are breastfeeding or have given birth in the last six months. 

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, employers are required to manage workplace risks to women of a childbearing age, pregnant workers and new mothers, act on advice from a doctor or midwife if night work will affect their health, and explain employers’ duties once notified that a worker is pregnant, has given birth in the last six months or is breastfeeding.  

Employers must reduce, remove or control any risk identified that could harm the worker or child during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and let workers know about any measures that have been put in place so that they can continue to work safely.

Compliance is key 

Aegis has experienced health and safety professionals who can assist employers in carrying out risk assessments so that they can meet their legal requirements in relation to providing a safe working environment for all staff, as is their responsibility. 

Get in touch with our team today to see how we can help.