Frequently asked questions

While you do not have to inform your employer that you are pregnant, have given birth in the last six months or are breastfeeding, it is important (for you and your child’s health and safety) to notify them in writing as early as possible. Until your employer receives written notification from you, they are not required to take any further action, such as altering working conditions or hours of work. Your employer can also ask you to provide a certificate from your GP or registered midwife showing that you are pregnant.

Your employer is legally required to provide somewhere for pregnant and breastfeeding employees to rest. This should include somewhere for you to lie down. It is not suitable for new mothers to use toilets for expressing milk. You may provide a private, healthy and safe environment for employees to express and store milk, although there is no legal requirement for you to do so.

If you think that your employer is putting your safety at risk, you should raise these concerns with your employer or that person.  If you feel more comfortable you could also approach your workplace safety representative, union representative (if you belong to one) or occupational health service (if your employer provides one) for further advice.

You should not ask any questions regarding personal information if it is not relevant to the job. Questions relating to pregnancy, children, and parental responsibility are likely to be discriminatory and could be used as evidence that you intend to discriminate. Questions that you ask in an interview, and which are relevant to the job, should be asked to both men and women equally.

There is actually no legal requirement to conduct a specific, separate risk assessment for new and expectant mothers. However, if you choose to do so, this may help you decide if any additional action needs to be taken.

Documents & other resources

White Papers/Guides

COVID-19 and pregnant employees

A short Health & Safety guide for employers focussing on pregnant employees.

White Papers/Guides

An in depth guide to bereavement

Understand how to deal with a bereavement in the workplace.

White Papers/Guides

Supporting new and expectant mothers

Learn how to support new and expectant mothers in your workplace with our short guide.

White Papers/Guides

Legal Rights For New and Expectant Mothers

This quick reference guide provides a quick recap of the basic rights of new and expectant mothers, including: paid time off, maternity and paternity leave, maternity pay and adoption leave.

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