Most women can continue working during pregnancy but are you working safely? Being pregnant, however, might present challenges at the workplace.
If you are concerned at all with your work environment, you should have a conversation with your employer about possible changes that can be made so that you can keep doing your job. In the majority of cases, you will able to find a solution that suits both needs.
If you are experiencing health issues, you should speak with your local GP and obtain a doctor’s certificate. Following this, your employer will need to make any necessary changes and adjust your work conditions accordingly.
Under work health and safety laws, businesses must do what is reasonably practicable to ensure the health and safety of all their workers, including those who are pregnant. Employers must be prepared to consult on possible options to find appropriate solutions. You have the right to cease or refuse to carry out work, if you have a reasonable concern that carrying out the work would expose you to a serious risk to your health or safety due to an immediate or imminent exposure to a hazard.
There are many things that may be of concern such as (but not limited to):
- Your role—has becoming pregnant impacted you to perform your role?
- Your work environment—do some adjustments need to be made to your work station or environment?
- Your hours—if you work night shifts, long hours etc, you may want to discuss some options with your manager.
Under anti-discrimination laws, your employer must consider all reasonable options for accommodating your needs, and work with you to find a suitable solution. Common ways to accommodate pregnant employees include:
- More breaks.
- Providing a car space.
- Your workstation set-up.
- Change in hours (different start and finish time.)
Most women will find that with some small changes that they continue their role as normal, but if you have any concerns at all, then it is critical that you speak with your manager or HR department. If your employer does not provide reasonable accommodation, this may be discrimination.
If you would like further information on this, we recommend visiting the Supporting Working Parents website which is a great resource for employees.
Written by the team at Circle In
If you need to speak to someone, then please speak with your manager or Human Resources department. If you need further advice, then we recommend speaking to Fair Work and visiting their site here.