Know your employment rights!

Recent reports of employers discriminating against pregnant women and new mums at work highlight the importance of women knowing their employment rights

A pregnant woman at work.


There have been several stories in the news this week about employers treating pregnant women and new mums unfairly. Whether you’re pregnant, on maternity leave or planning to return to work after having a baby, it’s important to know your rights. Discrimination in the work place is illegal and women are legally protected from losing their job, having their hours changed or their responsibility reduced as a result of pregnancy.

Our midwife Nikki explains why it’s essential to know your employment rights:

"Remember your right to pay, holidays and returning to a job are protected during maternity leave and all employees have the right to return to their job if they take Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML). OML is 26 weeks and  Additional Maternity Leave is another 26 weeks.

However the rules on returning to work are slightly different if you take Additional Maternity Leave. You still have the right to your old job, but the type of job can be changed to indicate a ‘similar’ job with the same or sometimes better conditions!

All pregnant women are also entitled to ‘reasonable’ paid time off work to attend antenatal appointments, but only once you have informed your boss you are pregnant, which should be by the 15th week, before the week your baby is due! Women continue to be entitled to pay rises and improvements in their terms and conditions during maternity leave."

It’s always good to be prepared once you have found out you are pregnant, here's how.

If you think you've been discriminated against by your employer, find out how to take action here.

More pregnancy news


    Please note that these comments are monitored but not answered by Tommy’s. Please call your GP or maternity unit if you have concerns about your health or your baby’s health.
    • By Shodeinde Oluwatoyin (not verified) on 21 Feb 2020 - 13:33

      Good day mid wife,am oluwatoyin from Lagos State Nigeria ,am pregnant and am in my 14weeks but I have been having headache every time, please what can I do.

    • By PregnancySantander on 3 Jul 2018 - 22:56

      Where can I find this?
      Pregnancy at Work guides designed for managers and employees.

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 4 Jul 2018 - 16:17

      Hi PregnancySantander
      We sadly are no longer able to offer print version of any of our guides- but all of the information is available online as you saw above
      Sorry for the inconvenience!
      Sophie,Tommy's Midwife :)

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