More than 698,000 babies were born in the UK in 2013, the last year for which statistics are currently available. No one knows how many of these were born to working women, but it is fair to assume that it would be a hefty proportion.
It is, therefore, important that employers are aware of their legal duties under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSW) to ensure that the correct steps are taken to accommodate the needs of pregnant employees or those who have recently given birth.
Our New and Expectant Mothers e-learning course is a good place to start.
The program is aimed at employers who need to make provision in the workplace for pregnant employees, new mums and women who are breastfeeding to ensure that risk assessments are up to date and that particular job functions can be adequately managed.
The course takes the new or expectant mum, her line manager and other staff through all the things that need to be considered to ensure that the workplace is safe.
It is split into eight separate modules:
- The changing body
- Legal duties
- Maternity leave
- Workplace risks
- Fire safety
- Keeping fit and healthy
WorkRite national sales manager Ryan Church said: “This is a useful course both for the employer and employee. On the face of it, you may think that catering for the needs of new or expectant mums is fairly straightforward, but there is more to it than meets the eye.
“For example, once an employee provides written notification to her employer that she is pregnant, has given birth in the past six months or is breastfeeding, the onus is on the employer to immediately take into account any risks identified in their workplace risk assessment.
“If that risk assessment has identified any risks to the health and safety of a new or expectant mother, or that of her baby, and these risks cannot be avoided by taking any necessary preventive and protective measures under other relevant health and safety legislation, then the employer must take action to remove, reduce or control the risk.
“If the risk cannot be removed employers must either temporarily adjust her working conditions and/or hours of work; offer her suitable alternative work, at the same rate of pay, if available; or, if that isn’t feasible, suspend her from work on paid leave for as long as necessary, to protect her health and safety, and that of her child.”