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1. Overview

These pages explain how employers should manage the health and safety of new mothers and pregnant workers.

Employers are responsible for providing a safe working environment while effectively managing risks to the health and safety of all employees through risk assessments.

This is particularly important for new and expectant mothers (those who are pregnant, have given birth in the last six months or are currently breastfeeding). This is because some working conditions and processes can potentially harm them and their child.

An employee does not have to tell you they are a new or expectant mother, but it is in their interests to let you know so you can make any necessary changes to support them, from adjusting working conditions to maternity pay. You should ask them to notify you in writing, so you have an official record.

You can also ask them to provide a certificate confirming the pregnancy from a registered GP or midwife, though you must allow reasonable time for completion of all examinations and tests.

You do not have to maintain any changes you have made to their working conditions or hours if your employee fails to produce this certificate in a reasonable period of time.

We have separate advice for new and expectant mothers themselves.

Updated 2021-03-16