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Pregnant & Working - Employers Workplace Health

Women in their reproductive years make up almost half of all workers. By providing educational material and by implementing family friendly polices and practices external link you can have a great impact on employee health, particularly that of pregnant workers and new parents.

Benefits of Creating a Supportive Work Environment

Research has shown that performance ratings improve during pregnancy and most workers return to work after their maternity/parental leave. By creating a supportive work environment for employees who are pregnant they may: 

  • Be more likely to stay with the company 
  • Care more about work 
  • Do a better job 
  • Work harder 
  • Be healthier 
  • Be absent and late less often 
  • Have healthier pregnancies, babies and families
As an employer, there are a number of things you can do to ensure the health of your pregnant employees.

What Employers Can Do

  • Develop polices to support pregnant employees 
  • Put up displays external link and posters about healthy choices 
  • Review work assigned to the pregnant employee 
  • Limit overtime when possible 
  • Ensure work stations are designed to minimize strain and fatigue 
  • Talk to pregnant workers about options for maternity/parental leave external link

If an employee anticipates challenges as her pregnancy progresses, offer suggestions and ask for ideas. Be flexible and willing to negotiate.

An Employer Has Legal Obligations

With women making up half the workforce it is likely that female employees will become pregnant during their working careers. These workers are protected against discrimination by the Ontario Human Rights Commission.external link Employers have a responsibility to accommodate employees in order that they may continue working.

Support for Women Returning To Work

Employers can support women returning to work by creating and supporting a baby-friendly workplace. Resources (external link) and a poster (external link)  are available to help employees make the transition back to work.

Related links

Work and Pregnancy do Mix external link
Best Start: Ontario’s maternal, new born and early child development resource centre 
Halton Baby-Friendly Initiative (external link)