New and expectant mothers
When carrying out your general risk assessment, take into account female employees of childbearing age, including new or expectant mothers (ie employees who are pregnant, have given birth within the last six months or are breastfeeding).
You should consider the risks that may arise from any process, working condition, or physical, biological or chemical agents. Some of the more common risks are:
- lifting or carrying heavy loads
- standing or sitting for long periods
- exposure to infectious diseases
- exposure to lead
- work-related stress
- workstations and posture
- exposure to radioactive material
- long working hours
- exposure to toxic chemicals
If any significant risks have been identified, you must take the appropriate action as soon as you are notified, in writing, that an employee is a new or expectant mother, to ensure that she is not further exposed.
If you are unable to avoid or control any risks that go beyond the level of risk found outside the workplace, then you must take appropriate action. This might include altering working conditions and/or hours of work or finding suitable alternative work.
If the risks can’t be avoided or alternative work found, you should suspend the employee on paid leave for as long as necessary to avoid the risks to them.