In addition to facilitating the employee’s rights under the Maternity Protection Acts, an employer has a duty of care under Chapter 2 of Part 6 and the related Schedule 8 to the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 299 of 2007) relating to pregnant, post natal and breast-feeding employees. This duty involves assessing the workplace for hazards which may pose a risk to the employee or her pregnancy. If such a hazard is identified which cannot be removed, the Maternity Protection Acts provide that the employee may be placed on health and safety leave.
This section examines the statutory rights and duties placed on both the employer and the employee, as well as providing practical guidance to employers in facilitating maternity entitlements.