How to manage an agency worker who is pregnant or a new mother
Author: Alison Frazer
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- Be aware that an agency worker who is pregnant or a new mother will have specific rights under the Agency Workers Regulations 2010, after completing a 12-week qualifying period.
- Check that the agency observes an adequate equal opportunities policy and provides equality and diversity training to its staff.
- When agreeing terms with agencies, agree that the agency will ask agency workers to provide notification that they are pregnant, a new mother or breastfeeding at an early stage, so that a risk assessment can be carried out.
- On receiving notification that an agency worker is pregnant, a new mother or breastfeeding, carry out a risk assessment if the work could involve risk to their health or that of their baby.
- Take the required steps to remove any health and safety risk or, if this is not possible, inform the agency that it must end the supply of the worker.
- Be aware of the agency's duty to offer the agency worker suitable alternative work if it is available.
- Allow pregnant agency workers who have completed the 12-week qualifying period time off for antenatal appointments and be aware that the agency has a duty to pay them for this time off.
- Negotiate fair indemnity clauses with agencies that cover issues such as remuneration for attending antenatal appointments.
- Understand the effect of absences for reasons related to pregnancy or maternity on the calculation of the 12-week qualifying period under the Agency Workers Regulations 2010.
- Keep an up-to-date record of the reasons for any breaks in assignments or cessation of work by the agency worker.