2. Risk assessment for pregnant workers and new mothers

You must, by law, assess the risks to women of childbearing age as part of your general workplace risk assessment.

You must also carry out an individual risk assessment, that covers your worker’s specific needs, when they have informed you in writing that they:

Complete an individual risk assessment for your worker

When you have been informed in writing, you must complete an individual risk assessment for them.

You must take account of any medical recommendations provided by their doctor or midwife.

Review the individual risk assessment

You must regularly review your worker’s individual risk assessment and make any necessary adjustments:

Working conditions could present a risk to mother and/or child at different stages. As the pregnancy progresses, it may affect your worker’s:

Record your findings and share these with your worker

Once you have completed the individual risk assessment, record your findings and share these with your worker and their safety representative if they have one.

It is important to explain how you will keep them and their child safe.

If you identify a significant risk

If you identify a risk that could cause harm to your worker or their child, you must firstly decide if you can control it.

If you cannot control or remove the risk, you must do the following:

Action 1 – Adjust the working conditions or hours to avoid the risk.

If that is not possible:

Action 2 – Give them suitable alternative work.

The Employment Rights Act 1996 states that suitable alternative work should be offered, where appropriate, before any suspension from work. This must be suitable and appropriate for the pregnant worker or new mother, and on the same terms and conditions, including pay.

If that is not possible:

Action 3 – Suspend your worker on paid leave for as long as necessary to protect their health and safety and that of their child.

If you cannot put the necessary control measures in place, you must suspend the worker on full pay in line with the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.

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