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A risk assessment is an examination of potential harm that might come about due to workplace activities. It involves carefully noting all activities and the risks that they pose to workers.
Pregnant employees are at a heightened risk of harm in the workplace.
While it’s something that should be considered for everyone, health and safety for pregnant employees is especially important.
There are four main legal rights for pregnant employees:
You’re not actually legally bound to provide light duty for pregnant employees or any extra break entitlement for pregnant employees. But it could technically be argued that not doing so is unfair treatment—it gets legally complex quite quickly. For now, we’ll stick with risk assessments.
A risk assessment should already take into consideration risks to female employees of childbearing age and new/expectant mothers. When you’re notified of a pregnant employee, you should check your assessment immediately to see if any new risks have come up.
You’re not actually obliged to carry out a specific assessment for pregnant employees. But it’s a good idea to do so—the health of a pregnant woman is incredibly important, and you want them to come back to their job after their child is born with confidence in your concern for their wellbeing.
The Health & Safety Executive has a number of resources available to help you carry out your risk assessment. Much of the time, thinking about pregnant employees during assessments is simply common sense. For example:
If you’re uncertain about the practical and emotional support you need to give to pregnant employees, Health Assured can help.
Our EAP is perfect for this—we have trained advisors and counsellors on-hand 24/7, 365 to aid you and your employees, giving you the tools to increase wellbeing and productivity. Contact us today on 0844 892 2493 to discuss this further.
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