Every employer is required to provide a workplace that is free from danger and doesn’t negatively affect your health. That protection extends to your baby if you remain at work while pregnant. Whether you work full or part-time is irrelevant. If your work is affecting your pregnancy, then you need to take steps to tackle the issues as early as possible. The law means that no employer is able to dismiss you for being pregnant and that they must address health and safety issues that arise as a result of your pregnancy.
Here’s a breakdown of what you need to do if your employment is affecting your pregnancy.
Maternity Pay and Leave
This will depend on your employer and your employment contract. Some places of work will allow for a year off after giving birth, but you’ll need to check your contract. If you are entitled to maternity leave and pay, then it may be worth avoiding the potential dangers of the workplace altogether.
While many parents don’t want to share the news of a pregnancy for the first few months, your employer needs to know. Once they have been informed, they will need to carry out a pregnancy-specific risk assessment. Any findings will need to be addressed by them, and that includes:
- If your usual job involves heavy lifting
- You spend long periods of time spent standing or sitting
- You have over-long working hours
- There is exposure to dangerous substances
If a risk assessment reveals any dangers that are affecting your pregnancy, then there are three steps that need to be taken by your employer. They will have to:
1: Make immediate changes to your work environment or responsibilities. This could be something as simple as providing a more comfortable chair, or allowing you to work remotely. You are not under any obligation to accept changes if you don’t agree to them.
2: Find alternative employment, so that you can continue working for as long into your pregnancy as you prefer. The alternatives that they offer must not mean less pay or missing out on established benefits, and you are entitled to refuse alternatives that you feel uncomfortable with.
3: If there are no acceptable solutions to keeping you and your baby safe, then you are entitled to remain at home while receiving full pay. You must receive the same level of pay until any dangers in the workplace are resolved.
If your employer does not take these steps, then you should get legal advice as soon as possible. Talk to experienced professionals like the-compensation-experts.co.uk, so that you do not expose yourself or your baby to unnecessary risks. The right legal help can protect you very well, largely due to the strict workplace laws that cover your health and safety.
Being pregnant should be an amazing, unique, and optimistic time. Whether you work right up to the due date or book your maternity leave a few months early will depend on you. However, knowing that the law protects you in so many ways means that you have one less stress to deal with as you prepare your life to be impacted by your new arrival.
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