Balancing the Bump - time, money, parenthood and the law - 1230 TWC


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Balancing the Bump – time, money, parenthood and the law

Annabel: I am always amazed how women deal with being pregnant at work. Women who were healthy and robust sometimes adopt the attitude that pregnancy is some form of illness and that they simply cannot do a reliable or complete job whilst pregnant. Others sail through with no obvious change until the very latest moment. There are so many misunderstandings about safety and risk when it comes to pregnancy at work.

All employers need to do Health and Safety risk assessments. All but the smallest employers should have them in writing. This assessment should include risk to pregnant women and unborn children regardless of whether anyone is pregnant at the time the assessment is done.

Laura: When you notify your boss that you are pregnant your workspace should be checked to see that it is set up appropriately for you and your growing bump. You may also need a specific evacuation procedure so let the building manager know that you are pregnant or ask your line manager to do so. If you work very long hours this may need to reduce depending on your circumstances.

Annabel: If the job involves a lot of standing, then you may need to have somewhere to sit when things are quiet so you can take the weight off your feet! If your job involves lifting you should already be trained in ‘Manual handling techniques’. You can always split a box – carry half at a time or ask a colleague to help.

Laura: In my experience emotional health is a real ‘risk.’. There may be an overwhelming sense of responsibility which can increase the risk of stress related illness. A woman may feel more anxious . Managers should be sensitive to this – but not let underperformance go unchecked.

Annabel: There is a real difference, both legally and practically between “Here is a note from my GP saying this is dangerous for me because this is not a healthy pregnancy and I am at risk (or my baby is)” and “I am pregnant, I must be careful, so I have decided that I can’t do the following things.”

Do you have a query that you’d like Laura or Annabel to answer? Follow this link and post your question for them – http://balancingthebump.com/contact/

Annabel Kaye is Managing Director of Irenicon Ltd, a specialist employment law consultancy. Tel: 08452 303050 Fax: 08452 303060 Website : www.irenicon.co.uk. You can follow Annabel on twitter – http://twitter.com/AnnabelKaye. Our specialist site for pregnancy and parenthood at work can be found on www.balancingthebump.com

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About the Author Jackie Groundsell

Jackie Groundsell is known as the queen of women's business networking lunches - the connector. She supports thousands of small business owners through her events and lunch-time meetings

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