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POLL: does your employer provide anywhere for pregnant employees to rest?

(28 Posts)
pregnantpeppa Wed 28-Oct-09 20:32:20

Just wanted to know if anyone's employer actually provided a rest area, I understand this is a legal requirement but don't know the actual definition of "rest area". I mentioned to HR informally that I felt so exhausted at the moment I wished I had somewhere to lie down just for 15 minutes - she said that I was lucky I only shared an office with one person so I could rest at my desk. Now, we have a very good HR dept, and we are a law firm with an excellent employment dept so I am 99% sure the HR manager knows of the requirement... but is it really covered by my desk?! I know they don't have to actually provide a bed but would feel a bit of a twat putting my head on the desk. Or is this just one of those pieces of maternity legislation that doesn't really get enforced...?

oooggs Wed 28-Oct-09 20:33:26

Yes I could lay on the bed in the first aid room

TrickOrTreatersDragOnYourNoose Wed 28-Oct-09 20:33:47

WTF? They are meant to provide a rest area? How utterly ridiculous.

MarthaFarquhar Wed 28-Oct-09 20:35:25

no. But then I'm not even provided with somewhere other than my desk to eat my lunch. Farking NHS.

AnyGhoulKno Wed 28-Oct-09 20:35:49

I've never heard of this one, are you sure about this being a legal requirement?

gizzy1973 Wed 28-Oct-09 20:37:20

as i work as a nanny i suppose i could use the sofa for rest area - well i do sit on it but then again i dont get a lunch hour to rest in anyway

Ewe Wed 28-Oct-09 20:38:37

Regulation 24 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations, 2007 states “an employer shall ensure that pregnant, post natal and breastfeeding employees are able to lie down to rest in appropriate conditions”.

I don't know anyone who has enforced it but it looks like you can ask for somewhere to lie down...

pregnantpeppa Wed 28-Oct-09 20:39:46

Yep it is a requirement here's a [] link]]. I think its a bit mad really, I don't think there is actually anywhere in my office building that could be used, don't know of any spare rooms and there is no first aid room but I suspect this is not commonly enforced!

pregnantpeppa Wed 28-Oct-09 20:40:06


TrickOrTreatersDragOnYourNoose Wed 28-Oct-09 20:40:17

Personally I think those "appropriate conditions" should be at home.

MrsBadger Wed 28-Oct-09 20:42:56

I think legally this is meant to apply to eg shop staff or factory workers who would otherwise be on their feet all day, or people who work in chemical labs, food prep areas etc where you can't eat or drink.

not to lawyers with their own desks and comfy chairs...

pregnantpeppa Wed 28-Oct-09 20:47:35

Well my chair and desk is fairly comfy but its fairly often interrupted by constant phone calls and people asking me questions so its not so restful. I don't necessarily think this particular piece of legislation should apply to me, as if I felt ill enough to really need total peace and quiet I would just go home, just interested in the application and interpretation of the legislation by employers in practice

Although as in my OP, it would be nice to have a bed for a 15 min power nap in the office. Maybe with someone to give me a massage and cold drinks too grin

hoops997 Wed 28-Oct-09 20:50:52

I work at a crematorium so no where to lie down but I have been taken off being on my feet all day and now sit down most of the day, have found myself with my feet up on another chair and nodding off for a few minutes!!!

EyeballsintheSky Wed 28-Oct-09 20:59:29

Bloody hell. I never even had a risk assessment let alone a bed in the corner. If I needed a rest, which I often did after a long commute, I used to lie on the floor of one of the loos! Luckily all the loos at work are disabled loos so loads of room.

cakeywakey Wed 28-Oct-09 21:03:20

I could have had a lie-down in the first aid room when I was pregnant if I'd wanted. I'd have had to fight off all of the other pregnant women though - we had a bit of a baby-boom going on at the time.

My sister once suggested that I should pop out at lunchtime and have a snooze in my car. I told her she was being a nutter, especially as I'm a bit of a sleep-dribbler smile

AngelDog Wed 28-Oct-09 21:26:30

I'm very fortunate as we have a medical room and another random room with a bed in it off one of the ladies' loos at work. I had a lunchtime nap in there every day in the first trimester. But I work for a big county council in a building with about 2000 people. In the old days I used to be a teacher and the only way I'd have got a lie down there would have been on kiddie chairs in the corner of the classroom!

Shiregirl Wed 28-Oct-09 22:11:39

Message withdrawn

iateallthecreameggsyummy Thu 29-Oct-09 05:48:21

lol it would have been luxory to have been offered a 5 min sit down on my 8 hour shifts let alone a rest area, I didnt know it was legislation?

Hope you find somewhere peaceful though! smile

EyeballsintheSky Thu 29-Oct-09 06:18:40

Car is a very good idea. I now do that if I've had a bad night with dd but only at lunchtime as not pg so no special treatment! Recline seat, set phone alarm, 50 mins sleep. Lovely

LifeOfKate Thu 29-Oct-09 08:09:30

By fluke, we have a 'quiet room' at work with a couple of comfy chairs where I have been known to lie down I don't think it's intentional though, just too small to fit anything but a couple of chairs in...

fiziwizzle Thu 29-Oct-09 09:59:30

Nope, but then I work in an office so I suppose the legislation isn't for the likes of me. I could lie on the floor in a meeting room but the lights would go on automatically. I have been known to put my head on my desk for 5 minutes in extremis.

alana39 Thu 29-Oct-09 12:43:31

In my 1st 2 pregnancies we had a sick room, so I was able to lie down if needed (about once each pg). Now that's gone, and I was told to put a box under my feet. I stand up pretty much all day (lecturing) and eventually was told I could use the board room if it was free. But you need to book it, and pick up the key from someone, so not exactly an easy option. Other than that I share an office with, oh, 30 people, and students coming into ask questions, so putting your head down on a desk is not exactly the done thing.

I did post a question on the employment section of MN but most people seemed to think the requirement could be interpreted pretty much however the employer sees fit and that you can't actually force them to give you somewhere to lie down.

OrmIrian Thu 29-Oct-09 12:45:24

Hardly as i sit down all day.

I think that unless you are on your feet all day it seems a bit OTT hmm

blondieminx Thu 29-Oct-09 14:10:10

I work for a large law firm and thankfully they take all the HSE law quite seriously. I've had a risk asessment and we do have a room to rest in although it's next to the gym so you have to be careful about timing it so you miss the music from the lunchtime classes!

Having said that, on the days following nights where I've got up 4-5 times for yet another wee it's great to be able to go and have a 50 minute snooze for my lunch break smile

Alina77 Thu 29-Oct-09 15:55:05

Girls, lying on the floor on the toilet??? Are you serious? That's even worse than having to breastfeed or pump milk on the toilet! Come on, you need to be a bit more pushy. Why would it be "over the top" to ask for a place to lie down even if you are sitting all day?! If you need a rest and can't get a proper rest room, just keep going home early saying you aren't feeling well and need a nap, pointing out that if you had somewhere to take a 20min power nap, it would be a different story... At times I tell my boss I am working from home as at least then I can have a lie down after lunch - just to give them a message about not being happy about being offered a chair in a (glazed!) meeting room as the only rest area. But some women seem to need the rest more than others, so don't get put off by what other women think!

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