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Am I entitled to more breaks while I'm pregnant?

Yes. You should agree this with your employer. The length and frequency of your breaks will depend on the hours and nature of the work you do.

Remember that in order to qualify for maternity leave in the first place, you must tell your employer that you’re pregnant no later than 15 weeks before your due date.

Bear in mind that your employer may request that you declare your pregnancy in writing, including your baby due date and also when you want your maternity leave to begin.  You needn’t do this before you’ve properly made up your mind, but it’s a reasonable thing to do in order to help your employer plan how to effectively manage your workload, breaks and any antenatal classes before you begin your maternity leave.

Your employer may also reasonably request a copy of your ‘MAT B1’ maternity certificate; the one that you’ll receive from your doctor or midwife upon reaching 21 weeks of pregnancy.

Another thing your employer may do is make a Health and Safety Assessment about you and your role at work, in order to identify any aspects of your job that you can’t reasonably be expected to fulfil while you’re pregnant.  For example, manual work such as heavy lifting may be something all parties would want to sensibly avoid.

As part of this whole process, certain other things will need to be agreed.  You are allowed to take time off from work to attend antenatal sessions, and this entitlement is regardless of how long you’ve worked for your employer. 

An employer must also legally provide a pregnant woman with somewhere to rest, and lie down if necessary.

If you feel that you’ve been treated unfairly, and haven’t been afforded a reasonable amount of breaks or the facilities to rest during your pregnancy, then contact QualitySolicitors to see if we can help.  You can always have a five-minute chat with us for free, so we can see how we might be able to help you.  We call this Free Initial Assessment, and it’s available to anyone who calls us on 08082747557.

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