Working whilst you are pregnant can be hard, whatever line of work you are in. The first 12 weeks can be especially gruelling, especially if you struggle with pregnancy sickness and fatigue.
It’s important to know your rights at work during your pregnancy as well as be aware of the specific laws around attending appointments, health and safety, maternity leave and sick leave. Additionally, there are now considerations when it comes to making you safe during the pandemic, especially in your third trimester.
When you are 20 weeks pregnant, you should ask your midwife for a Maternity Certificate (MAT B1) form. This form proves to your employer that you are pregnant and your baby’s due date. You will need this form to claim maternity pay and benefits and you must give this to your employer.
NHS.uk has some great information about what you should know when you’re pregnant and employed.
If you are part of a union, do check their website and call any of their helplines to better understand how they can support you.
If you work in a particularly physical occupation, or work with dangerous products, substances or in a high-risk workplace, you may need your employer to find alternative work for you, perhaps in a different department. If they cannot do this, then furlough may be an option.
Maternity Action, the “leading charity committed to ending inequality and improving the health and wellbeing of pregnant women” is a great place to learn more about what to do for the various circumstances that might affect you when you discover you’re pregnant. They also have a very helpful FAQ about Coronavirus, work and pregnancy as well as three special helplines depending on your location.