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Do I still have to work nights whilst I'm pregnant?

Yes. But, if a doctor or midwife has provided you with a medical certificate stating that for your health and safety you must not continue to work nights, then your employer must offer you suitable, alternative day work on the same terms and conditions. If that is not possible, then your employer should suspend you from work, on paid leave, for as long as necessary, or until your maternity leave starts.

In the UK, legislation has been put into place to protect the rights of pregnant women and to protect them from being discriminated against.  And perhaps the foundation of all maternity legislation is the health and safety of both mother and child.

As a pregnant woman, you’re entitled to be able to attend antenatal appointments without loss of pay, and you’re entitled to statutory maternity leave for at least 26 weeks up to 52 weeks.  You’re protected from losing your job because of your pregnancy, and if your role is deemed redundant during maternity leave, your employer must normally provide you with alternative employment with no changes to your basic employment terms and conditions (although some exceptions exist).

While you’re pregnant, and after you return from maternity leave, you’re entitled to request a reasonable change in working hours and conditions to help you cope with both your baby and your job.

Some people work shifts, and as part of their normal routine are required to work overnight shifts.  If working overnight is part of your normal working terms and conditions, then you’ll still be expected to work nights while you’re pregnant.

However if you have a certificate from your doctor or midwife that specifically states that working overnight may harm the health of you or your baby, and your employer has not provided you with alternative daytime work, and (if a day shift was not possible) has not suspended you from work on paid leave, then this may be a breach of discrimination.

Contact QualitySolicitors on 08082747557 and we can have a free no-obligation five-minute chat about what you’ve experienced.  We can then advise you on what legal steps you may take next.

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