What are my rights?

If you’re working while you’re pregnant, you need to know your rights to antenatal care, maternity leave and benefits.

If you have any worries about your health while at work, talk to your doctor, midwife or occupational health nurse.

You can also talk to your employer, union representative, or someone in the personnel department (HR) where you work.

Once you tell your employer that you’re pregnant, they should do a risk assessment with you to see if your job poses any risks to you or your baby.

If there are any risks, they have to make reasonable adjustments to remove them. This can include changing your working hours.

If you work with chemicals, lead or X-rays, or in a job with a lot of lifting, it may be illegal for you to continue to work.

In this case, your employer must offer you alternative work on the same terms and conditions as your original job.

If there’s no safe alternative, your employer should suspend you on full pay (give you paid leave) for as long as necessary to avoid the risk.

If your employer fails to pay you during your suspension, you can bring a claim in an employment tribunal (within 3 months). This wouldn’t affect your maternity pay or maternity leave. The GOV.UK website has more information about maternity pay and leave.

You may worry about using computer screens in pregnancy. But the most recent research shows no evidence of a risk to your baby or pregnancy from visual display units (VDUs) on computers.

GOV.UKCitizens Advice and Maternity Action have more information on pregnant employees’ rights, including your right to paid time off for antenatal care and what to do if you feel you’re being treated unfairly.

You can download additional information here