Is an employer obliged to respond to a pregnant employee's demands to change her hours or duties, where a risk assessment does not identify a necessity to change them, and the employee submits no medical certification on the matter?
An employer is obliged under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/3242) to carry out a risk assessment for new and expectant mothers. If a risk is identified, the employer must take measures to avoid the risk. The employer is obliged to consider altering conditions or hours of work only if taking any other action would not avoid an identified risk, and the alteration is reasonable and would avoid the risk. If no risk has been identified, there is no obligation for the employer to make changes. The employer must continually review the situation and conduct another risk assessment if there are significant changes to the situation, or if the employee raises the possibility of a risk that the employer has overlooked.