Pregnancy in the workplace

//Pregnancy in the workplace

How should I tell my employer that I am pregnant, and should my employer change my work duties as a result of my pregnancy?

It is important to write to your employer (either by letter or email) to tell them you are pregnant, particularly if your job is of a physical nature, for example, you are a cleaner or you work in a warehouse or factory. Your employer may request that you obtain a certificate from your doctor or midwife as proof of your pregnancy, though this would be a controversial reaction.

An employer has legal duty to carry out a risk assessment when the following conditions are met:

  1. The employee has notified their employer in writing that she is pregnant.
  1. The pregnant employee’s work may put her or her baby at risk of harm or may endanger the health and safety of the pregnant employee or her baby.
  1. The risk to the health and safety of the pregnant employee and/or their baby arises from working conditions, working processes/procedures or physical, chemical or biological agents in the workplace.

In a recent successful case, Truth Legal’s Georgina Parkin and Navya Shekhar, represented a cleaner who only verbally notified her employer that she was pregnant. Her employer failed to carry out a risk assessment and our client suffered a miscarriage, as a result of her employer’s failure to amend her work duties and failure to prevent her from being exposed to harmful cleaning chemicals.

Our client brought a claim against her employer for pregnancy discrimination and a settlement was reached out of court. We represented our client on a No Win, No Fee agreement.

Whilst in our client’s case she only verbally notified her employer of her pregnancy, we would strongly recommend that if you are pregnant that you write to your employer to notify them you are pregnant. Notifying your employer in writing of your pregnancy means that your employer has a legal duty to give consideration, as to whether your work duties should be risk-assessed and whether there should be any change to your work duties.

If you think that you have suffered pregnancy and/or sex discrimination by your employer, then please contact one of our workplace solicitors for a free consultation. We are a law firm committed to providing access to justice to everyone and we will therefore consider all funding options including No Win, No Fee agreements.


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By | 2016-10-14T22:23:34+01:00 June 3rd, 2016|General Disputes|

About the Author:

I'm a solicitor and director at Truth Legal. I specialise in representing injured people and those who have been treated badly at work. I joined Truth Legal in 2013.