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Protection Essentials for Pregnant Employees

Upon receiving a medical certificate to identify an employee is pregnant, has just given birth or is breastfeeding, it is essential for an employer to be mindful of all their legislative responsibilities*.

At the forefront, an employer must complete an NEM assessment, to determine any and all hazards which the person in question might be exposed to. This should be reviewed at each trimester.

This risk assessment should also factor in, how often the exposure may occur, as well as for how long.

Identify – General Hazards to Pregnant Employees

Physical force/shocks, vibrations, manual handling, temperature extremes, (non-&) ionising radiation, stress, bullying as well as chemical and biological agents.

Specific Hazards to Pregnant Employees (breastfeeding*)

Excessive lifting tasks, working underground*, lead substances*, Rubella exposure, pressurised chambers and Toxoplasma.


Monitor the employees working ability throughout their pregnancy.

Modify the employees working routine and conditions, this will allow for them to still perform at different stages during their pregnancy.

Rest facilities (as required by law) must be provided and will help reduce stress.


When a risk cannot be removed from their role, even after reviewing protective or preventative measures, alternative work should be provided.

If this is not possible, the employer should consider ‘Health & Safety Leave’ for the employee.

For the first three weeks of this leave period, the employer must pay the employees’ wages at their normal rate. After this time elapses, the Department of Social and Family Affairs will assess the employee. Employers if you need to carry out a risk assessment in your business and would like some more information .

Please phone the 24 Hour Advice Service on 1890 252 923 or  visit our website.

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