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What employers can do to better protect expectant and new mothers at work

What employers can do to better protect expectant and new mothers at work

Every year, around 350,000 women in the UK continue to work after becoming pregnant.

Around a tenth of these new and expectant mothers reported being dismissed, singled out for compulsory redundancy, or forced out of their job by poor treatment. So it’s about time that all employers cut out this bias against new and expectant mothers and work towards equality.

But how do we go about removing this bias? And what can employers do?

Stop treating pregnancy as an illness

Obviously, pregnancy is not an illness. Therefore, women should not be signed off as “sick” when simply taking time off for appointments relating to their pregnancy.

Create a risk assessment

The HSE state “Your workplace risk assessment must specifically consider any risks to the health and safety of a new or expectant mother, or that of her baby”. These risks could include any physical or biological risks, or chemical agents. You, as an employer, also need to consider working conditions in the workplace risk assessment.

Agree on a required frequency of breaks

Both parties should agree on how many breaks a new or expectant mother needs. Extra breaks may be needed for breastfeeding, or simply because being a mother is tiring.

Being open and encouraging their staff to come forward

Employers should encourage staff to talk openly about their pregnancy - what they’re looking forward to, what scares them, their concerns regarding work/ life balance, etc. - to show the employee that they’re a valued member of staff.

Watch here as iHASCO employees discuss their biggest fears as expectant mothers!

Expectant Mothers - What was your biggest fear about telling your employer?

Interested in learning more about New and Expectant Mothers at Work? Here’s a free trial for our training course, on us!