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Does an employer have to provide somewhere suitable for you to rest when you're pregnant?

(5 Posts)
alana39 Fri 19-Jun-09 14:38:23

I think I've read that one of your rights when pregnant is to rest breaks - I teach in a college so on feet in class all day,sometimes don't get out at break time but there is no staff room or anywhere comfortable to sit (only desk, or sofas in public parts of the building so covered in students and not really suitable for knackered pregnant women).

We don't even have a sick room anymore, which was where I used to put my feet up in last 2 pregnancies. I have asked my line manager but I know she will have to check with HR so no idea when I'll get an answer.

Does anyone know about this, have any experience or can you even recommend a website or something where I can find out more? Thanks!

fizzpops Fri 19-Jun-09 14:50:24

Don't know officially but I know one of my colleagues was able to use an unoccupied room to lie down in when she needed it. My workplace is quite hot on making sure we get what we are entitled to (and absolutely no more!) so I wouldn't be surprised if it was an employer's obligation.

Can't help any more than that though.

Can you come up with some ideas yourself for temporary solutions to put to them. Might move the process along if they don't have to think it through as well?

flowerybeanbag Fri 19-Jun-09 15:00:00

What are you hoping for alana?

Your employer must conduct a risk assessment for you when you are pregnant, and keep it updated. If (for example) it is identified that having to stand for long periods of time is a risk, they should address that risk by providing you with a chair.

In other words they must address your specific needs and risks individually. You might need more frequent breaks perhaps, I don't know.

This page has useful information about legal requirements from a H&S point of view. It does mention somewhere appropriate to rest, however I agree with fizzpops that suggesting something suitable yourself would be a good idea. If there isn't a sick room there isn't a sick room, but you can think creatively about what you need and how these needs can best be met. Providing your employers with a solution will certainly speed things up I imagine.

RibenaBerry Fri 19-Jun-09 15:15:32

As Flowery has said, there is no specific right to a rest room. If the health risk assessment says that you need more frequent breaks or to sit down then that has to be provided. However, it may be something as basic as putting a suitable chair in one of the unused classrooms I'm afraid.

alana39 Fri 19-Jun-09 15:22:35

Thanks for your replies - really helpful. Have just found one meeting room that is put aside for senior mgt so is rarely used - will look into getting access to that.

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