Pregnancy is a part of normal everyday life; it is not an illness. Many women work during pregnancy and many return to work while they are breastfeeding. Because there are some hazards in the workplace which may affect either the health of the woman or her developing child, an employer has specific responsibilities as set out in Chapter 2 of Part 6 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application Regulations) 2007.
While an employee does not have to inform their employer that they are pregnant, it is important (for you and your child’s health and safety protection) that you provide them with notification as early as possible. Until such time your employer is not obliged to take any action other than those resulting from risk assessments conducted for all employees.
Pregnancy Risk Assessments
Early notification, in confidence, to the employees manager will ensure that the hazards which may present a risk can be identified and subsequently removed or reduced thus safeguarding the safety of the expecting mother and her developing child.
Once the employer has been notified by the pregnant employee, the manager must complete a written Risk Assessment for that employee. The Risk Assessment should be reviewed periodically as the pregnancy progresses, in particular if there has been a change of the work activities.
In addition to the above, Regulation 24 (Chapter 1 of Part 2 relating to the workplace), requires an employer to ensure that pregnant, post natal and breastfeeding employees are able to lie down to rest in appropriate conditions.
IT Sligo, has put in place a Mothers Room in order to facilitate pregnant employees needing to rest and employees (who return to work before 26 weeks) wishing to express and store breast milk. The Mothers Room is a stand-alone rest room and not a medical facility. It is not therefore designed to accommodate or support pregnant staff that may be unwell at work. Such staff are required to contact their medical advisor to seek advice and instructions regarding their particular condition.
The room is located in the first floor of the Students Centre Block H room no H1020. Employees who want to avail of the facility should contact the Health & Safety Officer in the strictest confidence to access the facility firstname.lastname@example.org