Coronavirus News: Pregnancy Discrimination - An Employer's Duty of Care
Pregnancy discrimination during the Coronavirus pandemic
The Government has said that as the virus is so new, there is no evidence that it is, in fact, harmful to pregnant women or the baby. But infections in pregnancy are not desirable, so the government has erred on the side of caution.
If you are pregnant and cannot do your job from home, what should you do?
The government has said that where it is possible that everyone should work from home. Not every job can be done from home especially if you are working on the frontline during this crisis. But your employer still has an obligation to you.
Your employer by law must ensure that your workplace is safe for you, this includes changing your working hours or conditions in order to reduce the risk. If your employer cannot make your job safe for you and they cannot change your conditions then your employers should suspend you on full pay.
The same applies if you are pregnant in the current pandemic. Your employer must keep you safe from the risk of infection - two metres away from everyone. Your employer should alter your working conditions and offer an alternative, including working from home if they are able to do so. If they cannot do this then they should suspend you on full pay.
The only exception to this is if it is six weeks or less until your due date and in this case your maternity leave would start early.
If your employer is making you come into work?
If your employer refuses to let you work from home or forces you to take annual leave, sick leave or unpaid leave it is arguable that you are being discriminated against which we would be able to assist you with.
Pay if at home at whilst pregnant?
If you are paid or not paid will depend on whether you are actually working from home. If you are working from home then you will be paid as usual. However, if you work in a job that you can’t do from home, then you should be suspended on full pay.
You should not be required to take sick pay, annual leave or unpaid leave.
We're here to help.
Please contact one of our employment team members. We're here to support you with employment advice at this time.
You can also complete our online enquiry form.
At Lawson-West, we provide a national employment service.