Pregnancy and expecting a baby can be a wonderful experience, alongside the excitement of the arrival of the new baby, whilst working.

Expectant Mothers need to tell their Employers that they are pregnant by the 15th week, although it is in their interest to tell them sooner if showing or may need additional support such as attending appointments. Additionally, they might need support with health and safety adjustments.

Pregnant Employees are entitled to paid time off to go to ante-natal appointments and classes advised by their Midwife.

The earliest you can go on maternity leave is 11 weeks before the baby is born, but you could work right up until the birth if wanted, although you cannot return to work after the birth for a minimum of 2 weeks or longer if your work role is more manual.

By law, Employers should undertake an individual risk assessment to women who are of childbearing age, once they have been notified in writing that the individual is pregnant, breast feeding, or has given birth within the last 6 months.

Managers should review their existing risk assessments, for a pregnant or new Mother.

  • Check that there are no complications with the pregnancy that could affect their work.
  • Discuss any concerns that the worker might have regarding their pregnancy.
  • Discuss with the Health and Safety representative in the work environment, with regards to a pregnant worker.

The risk assessment should be reviewed regularly, plus reviewed if there are any changes to Mother and Baby’s health. Any findings should be recorded, with any identified risks acted upon, considering adjusting their hours or conditions, alternative work if they are at risk and if none of these are possible, the Employee will need to be suspended on full paid leave indefinitely to protect Mother and Baby.


Protecting pregnant workers and new mothers – Risk assessment (

The Employees Right Act 1996 –