Working during pregnancy

You can continue working normally until your maternity leave begins unless:

If you think your work or workplace may be hazardous, tell your employer and GP as soon as you know you are pregnant.

Your employer’s obligations

Your employer must do a risk assessment of your role. This is to see if your job involves any hazards to you or your baby.

In some cases, there are risks that are impossible to avoid at work. If this is the case, your employer must adjust your working conditions or hours of work. If this is not possible they must provide you with alternative work.

If your employer cannot find suitable work for you to do, they must grant you health and safety leave.

Work hours

Working more than 40 hours per week is not recommended, especially in your 3rd trimester.

Night shifts

There is no evidence that working night shifts is harmful for pregnant women. But if you feel you are not coping well, talk to your GP or obstetrician.

If your GP or obstetrician gives you a medical certificate to say nighttime work may be damaging to your health, your employer must find daytime work for you.

If this is not possible, your employer must give you employee leave, including health and safety leave or extend your maternity leave.


You are entitled to take paid time-off work to attend antenatal appointments and some antenatal classes.

Fathers can also take paid time off to attend the last 2 classes in the set of antenatal classes.

Talk to a breastfeeding expert