Maria Miller MP for Basingstoke has welcomed the Secretary of State’s commitment to pregnant women during coronavirus outbreak in response to her question in the House of Commons during Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy BEIS statement on Tuesday 12 May.
Maria said “Could I ask my Right Honourable Friend to look particularly at the problems faced by pregnant women who are contacting organsiations like Working Families and Maternity Action. Can he confirm to businesses that all pregnant women are classed as vulnerable and if they are unable to work as a result, they should be suspended on paid leave or furloughed. Can he also give consideration to clarifying the government guidance to help employers who want to do the right thing.”
Alok Sharma Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy responded; “Government guidance is clear , pregnant women can be furloughed provided they meet normal eligibility requirements and I would go further and it says so in the guidance, that expectant mothers are as always entitled to suspension on full pay if a suitable role cannot be found in the work place.”
Health and safety law in the UK states that if there are any risks to an expectant mother at work, her employers must adjust her working conditions, offer her alternative work, or if that is not possible suspend her from work on paid leave for as long as necessary.