Pregnancy & Maternity Rights

Pregnancy & Maternity RightsPregnancy & Maternity Rights

Do you know what pregnancy & maternity rights your employees have?

A pregnant employee is one of the most protected employee’s you will ever have and it would be wise to understand the rights she has and the obligations you have as an employer.

Protected Period

This is a really important term and one to be familiar with, this is when the added protection against unfavourable treatment will likely result in a claim to tribunal. From the start of her pregnancy until the moment she returns to work after maternity leave is when this period lasts.

Pregnancy & Maternity Rights | Claims

Successful claims for pregnancy & maternity related discrimination are uncapped. Did you know as an employer you are liable for direct pregnancy & maternity discrimination. This also extends to any such acts carried out by your employees.

Sickness Absence

Any sickness absence relating to the employee’s pregnancy must not be counted towards your absence triggers. Any unfavourable treatment of a pregnant employee in relation to absence management that includes reference to pregnancy related sickness is likely to amount to an act of sex discrimination.

Health & Safety Considerations

A pregnant employee can be suspended on the grounds of health & safety and if this is within her last 4 weeks of pregnancy, her maternity leave will be automatically triggered. If a new mother refuses suitable alternative work where a risk has been identified, she will be suspended on maternity grounds without pay.

Employers also have a duty to carry out certain risk assessments for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

Consider remote employee’s, especially if these drive for work purposes, have you performed a risk assessment?


Managing and understanding the rights of pregnant employees’ can be very complex. This quick blog article does not even touch the surface!

It is advisable for you to have a minimum amount of knowledge of this subject so you know when to call in an HR expert to help you.

If you need help, guidance, advice or training on this topic, please contact us on 01455 231982 | 07716 918272

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