Every business needs to have measures in place to support pregnant staff in the workplace and understand the rights that pregnant staff have. Organisations need to be accommodating and take steps to create a safe and comfortable workplace for pregnant employees, so what are some of the best ways that this can be done? Keep reading to find out.
Accommodate for Antenatal Appointments
First, you need to be accommodating for the antenatal appointments that they will have during their pregnancy. Flexibility is key here, so you need to make sure that they can easily take the time that they need (it is helpful if they notify you of appointments when they are made). If remote work is possible, it might be helpful for them to choose days when they can work from home.
Make Reasonable Adjustments
You must also consider the tasks that you are asking staff to complete and the work environment that you provide for them. Keep in mind that they are in a vulnerable position and they may not be able to perform certain tasks as the pregnancy develops, so you need to make reasonable adjustments for your pregnant employees. This could include changing their tasks and responsibilities, moving their work area to somewhere that is more accessible and investing in new office furniture. Additionally, you may need to provide high-quality PPE so that they can protect themselves and their baby if there are hazards.
Communication is key here, so you should discuss with them what their concerns are and encourage them to share ideas for what steps you can take to provide the best and safest work environment for them.
Finally, it is also important that you provide emotional support to your employees. This can be a stressful, strange and emotional time in your employee’s life and she may have concerns about both the health of her baby and her future position at the company, so you need to make sure that she is supported properly at work. You should check in on a regular basis, keep a close eye on them and provide reassurance where possible. Additionally, open communication with the entire team is helpful to create harmony and so that everyone can offer support and practical help.
It is important to have measures in place to support a pregnant employee and the above information should help you to develop a plan so that employees are properly supported during this exciting but difficult time in their life. It can be a tricky time to manage as a business leader, so you want to make sure that you offer support, provide enough flexibility, make reasonable adjustments and communicate openly. Hopefully, this will make work much easier for your pregnant employee and keep everything running smoothly at work.
Photo credits: Coworking London