Employers not doing enough to keep pregnant women safe at work

22 May 2019


New guidance by the TUC and Maternity Action has been published to help protect new and expectant mothers in the workplace.


The TUC and Maternity Action have warned that employers are not doing enough to protect pregnant women at work and have published new guidance which details steps bosses should be taking to keep female staff safe during and after pregnancy.


The new guide says there are clear laws in place to protect new and expectant mothers but warns that many bosses don’t know what they should be doing or are ignoring their legal responsibilities.  


Research by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found that two in five (41%) expectant mothers felt that there was a risk to their health or welfare at work during pregnancy. 


The guide highlights the risks new and expectant mothers face and suggests ways bosses can keep their pregnant staff safe including:


  • making workstations like desks and checkouts more comfortable 

  • changing workload or hours to reduce stress  

  • varying starting and finishing times to make commuting easier  

  • agreeing an increase in breaks to visit the toilet and drink more fluids.  


The guide also sets out what employers need to do when a new mum returns to work, and how bosses can support their female staff with breastfeeding and expressing milk.  


Full details can be found on the TUC’s website.