What adjustments to a new mother's working conditions or hours of work might an employer make?

The possible adjustments that an employer might make to a new mother's working conditions or hours of work, to avoid risks to her health and safety identified during a risk assessment, will depend on what is reasonable in her particular circumstances and whether or not the adjustment avoids the identified risk. The employer should put in place adjustments in consultation with the employee and should keep the adjustments under review.

Some of the most common adjustments to working conditions or hours of work that employers make for new mothers are:

  • a change to a new mother's duties to avoid contact with hazardous materials;
  • an adjustment to a new mother's working pattern to enable her to take more frequent toilet breaks where she has increased her fluid intake to promote milk production;
  • the provision of aids to reduce the amount of manual handling and address the risk of physical strain following a Caesarean section;
  • an adjustment to the employee's workload or a reduction in her targets following identification of potentially high stress levels; and
  • offering suitable alternative daytime work where a new mother works nights and provides a medical certificate from her GP or midwife that states that working nights may affect her health.