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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-pregnant-employees/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-pregnant-employees
This guidance is applicable in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
This advice is for you if you are pregnant and working as an employee. This includes pregnant healthcare professionals. It will help you discuss with your line manager and occupational health team how best to ensure health and safety in the workplace.
If you are pregnant and have let your employer know in writing of your pregnancy, your employer should carry out a risk assessment to follow the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSW) or the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000. This may involve obtaining advice from the occupational health department. See the workplace risk assessment guidance for healthcare workers and for vulnerable people working in other industries.
Information contained in the RCOG/RCM guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) in pregnancy should be used as the basis for a risk assessment.
Pregnant women of any gestation should not be required to continue working if this is not supported by the risk assessment. Pregnant women are considered ‘clinically vulnerable’ or in some cases ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ to coronavirus (COVID-19), and therefore require special consideration as contained in government guides for different industries.
The following recommendations apply for women less than 28 weeks pregnant with no underlying health conditions that place them at a greater risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19)
You must first have a workplace risk assessment with your employer and occupational health team.
Then, you should only continue working if the risk assessment advises that it is safe to do so.
This means that your employer should remove or manage any risks. If this cannot be done, you should be offered suitable alternative work or working arrangements (including working from home) or be suspended on your normal pay.
Your employer should ensure they are able to adhere to any active national guidance on social distancing.
Some higher risk occupations such as those with greater public contact or in healthcare may carry a higher risk of exposure to the virus. In healthcare settings this may include working in specific higher risk areas or higher risk procedures as summarised in the Public Health England publication Guidance on Infection Prevention and Control.
You should be supported by your employer with appropriate risk mitigation in line with recommendations to staff arising from workplace risk assessment.
If alternative work cannot be found, advice on suspension and pay can be found in HSE guidance.
The following recommendations apply for pregnant women who are 28 weeks pregnant and beyond or with underlying health conditions that place them at a greater risk of severe illness from coronavirus
If you are 28 weeks pregnant and beyond, or if you are pregnant and have an underlying health condition that puts you at a greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19 at any gestation, you should take a more precautionary approach.
This is because although you are at no more risk of contracting the virus than any other non-pregnant person who is in similar health, you have an increased risk of becoming severely ill and of pre-term birth if you contract COVID-19.
Your employer should ensure you are able to adhere to any active national guidance on social distancing and/or advice for pregnant women considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable (this group may previously have been advised to shield).
For many workers, this may require working flexibly from home in a different capacity.
All employers should consider both how to redeploy these staff and how to maximise the potential for homeworking, wherever possible.
Where adjustments to the work environment and role are not possible (e.g. manufacturing/retail industries) and alternative work cannot be found, you should be suspended on paid leave. Advice on suspension and pay can be found in HSE guidance.
The government published the COVID-19 response – spring 2021 setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England. This explains how restrictions will be eased over time.
How the rules changed on 29 March
Some of the rules on what you can and cannot do changed on 29 March. However, many restrictions remain in place — find out what you cannot do.
Read the national guidance, coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in pregnancy, information for healthcare professionals.
This guidance was first produced in March 2020 to support both employers and pregnant women with the risks associated with coronavirus at work, following the government’s decision to place pregnant women in a high-risk category.
On 11 May 2020, the UK government issued guidance for employers, businesses and workers in England, with information around staying open safely during the pandemic. This guidance is regularly reviewed and may be revised, so employers will want to ensure they are referring to the most up-to-date guidance for their sector.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Royal College of Midwives and the Faculty of Occupational Medicine will continue to act as clinical advisors to government on any occupational health advice for pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic.