New and Expectant Mothers Policy and Risk Assessments

Legislation to protect the health and safety of new and expectant mothers at work, include:

• Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSW)
• Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (the Workplace Regulations)
• Equality Act 2010

If you are notified that an employee is pregnant, breastfeeding or has given birth within the last six months, you should check your workplace risk assessment to see if any new risks have arisen. If risks are identified during the pregnancy, in the first six months after birth or while the employee is still breastfeeding, you must take appropriate, sensible action to reduce, remove or control them.

While it is a legal obligation for employers to regularly review general workplace risks, 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.

There are a number of workplace hazards that have an increased severity of outcome for pregnant and breastfeeding women, these can include but are not limited to:


Physical agents

  • Movements and postures
  • Manual handling
  • Shocks and vibrations
  • Noise
  • Radiation (ionising and non-ionising)
  • Compressed air and diving
  • Underground mining work

Biological agents

  • Infectious diseases

Chemical Agents

  • Toxic chemicals
  • Mercury
  • Antimitotic (cytotoxic) drugs
  • Pesticides
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Lead

Working conditions

  • Facilities (including rest rooms)
  • Mental and physical fatigue, working hours
  • Stress (including post-natal depression)
  • Passive smoking
  • Temperature
  • Working with visual display units (VDUs)
  • Working alone
  • Working at height
  • Travelling
  • Violence
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Nutrition

A non-exhaustive list can be found in the annexes of the Pregnant Workers Directive 92/85/EEC, or see also the European Commission’s guidelines.

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FutureSure carries out a deep forensic assessment of the new or expectant mother, her day to day duties for your company, the exposure to risk and the exisiting control measures. We then consider what additional controls can be implemented to mitigate these risks as far as reasonably practicable to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both mum and baby.

If you have just been informed that one of your employees is expecting or has recently had a baby, please get in contact with us for a free quote and we’ll be happy to come and ensure that mum, baby and everyone else at your company is as safe as can be.

FutureSure is also here to help you with any questions about your rights and responsibilities, either as a pregnant employee, mother, or as an employer of a new or expectant mother; We can help you navigate issues like lone working, night shifts, maternity leave and all other aspects of pregnancy in the workplace.

For a free no-obligation quote; Contact Us.