Q&As

Where, in order to mitigate the risk to the health and safety of a pregnant employee (or her baby), the employer alters the employee’s working hours, should the employee still be paid her full pay?

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Published on LexisPSL on 17/01/2020

The following Employment Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Where, in order to mitigate the risk to the health and safety of a pregnant employee (or her baby), the employer alters the employee’s working hours, should the employee still be paid her full pay?

Where, in order to mitigate the risk to the health and safety of a pregnant employee (or her baby), the employer alters the employee’s working hours, should the employee still be paid her full pay?

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSW Regs 1999), SI 1999/3242, reg 16 breaks an employer’s duty into two separate obligations:

  1. one which occurs prior to notification by an individual employee that they are pregnant, have given birth within the previous six months or are breastfeeding, and

  2. the other which is engaged after that notification has been given

These comprise:

  1. a general duty on employers to carry out a general risk assessment where they employ women of child-bearing age, in respect of processes, working conditions, or physical, biological or chemical agents which could present risks to the health and safety of a new or expectant mother, or to that of her baby

  2. a specific duty in respect of an individual employee who notifies of her pregnancy, recent child-birth or that she is breastfeeding, and whose work gives rise to risk to her health or that of her child and that risk arises from processes, working conditions or exposure to physical, chemical or biological agents, to carry out an individual risk assessment of her situation in order to meet any supplementary duties to:

    1. eliminate any risks, or

    2. alter

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