During your pregnancy

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

Your benefits, rights and responsibilities

The University provides a variety of benefits for mothers-to-be and new mothers, including University Maternity Pay for eligible members of staff.

For information on benefits for partners and fathers working at the university please see the paternity/maternity support pages.

When you know you are pregnant

Deciding when to tell your Head of Discipline/line manager that you are pregnant is a personal decision, but you must inform your employer (and your Human Resources Business Partner) by the 15th week before your baby is due (eg by approx 25 weeks' pregnant) in order to qualify for maternity leave and pay. However, the laws which protect you at work whilst pregnant only apply once your employer knows that you are pregnant.

Once your Head of Discipline/line manager knows that you are pregnant:

  • you are entitled to have paid time off to keep appointments for antenatal care, including reasonable time for relaxation or parentcraft classes. Please try, whenever possible, to arrange appointments at times which cause the minimum disruption to work or other work colleagues. If your manager or supervisor requests it, you should provide a certificate confirming your pregnancy, your appointment card, or some other documentary evidence, other than for your first appointment.
  • you are protected from unfair treatment connected with your pregnancy.

When you know an employee is expecting

When an employee has formally announced that she is expecting, a line manager or nominated person should familarise themselves with the health and safety standard for New and Expectant Mothers. They are then (in agreement with the pregnant worker) required to assess the risks of the work by completing a New and expectant mothers risk assessment tool.  This risk assessment should be completed with the employee as soon as possible after you have been informed of the pregnancy. If necessary, support is available from your HRBP, Occupational Health or our Health and Safety team. 

Once the risk assessment has been carried out managers are then required to take action against any risks which have been highlighted as medium or high. If necessary, you must take steps to reduce the risk to the new or expectant mother by altering the working condition, hours of work, or by finding a suitable alternative working location, where feasible, in consultation with the College/Professional Service HRBP. If you need any advice please contact our Occupational Health team. 

It is recommended that this risk assessment is reviewed and updated in each trimester of the employee's pregnancy, or more frequently if required by the employee. Please record all updates on the assessment form by dating and signing the updated assessment together with the employee. All risk assessments should be recorded and stored securely by the manager in the employee’s personal file.  Copies will be sent to HR for the new or expectant mother’s Personnel record and to the new or expectant mother.

Returning to work

Once an employee has returned to work, managers are required to review and update the risk assessment to reflect the new needs of the employee.

If you need any further information or guidance please contact our Health and Safety team.