During pregnancy | Pregnancy related illness

If you do not feel well for certain periods during the day, you can ask for a temporary change to your hours, for example, starting later or finishing earlier to avoid rush hour traffic, or working from home. There is no legal obligation on your employer to agree to a change in your working hours unless the change is to remove a health and safety risk.

If you are not able to work because of pregnancy related illness you are entitled to sick pay in the same way as other employees until the last four weeks of your pregnancy. If your employer does not provide sick pay, you will only get statutory sick pay. [https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay/what-youll-get] If your employer asks for a doctor’s certificate you should provide this.

If you have a pregnancy related illness during the last four weeks of your pregnancy this automatically triggers your maternity leave unless your employer agrees you can carry on working. Your maternity leave is not triggered if your illness is not connected to your pregnancy, for example you have flu.

If your employer treats you badly, such as making rude comments, because of you are off work because of a pregnancy-related illness, this may be pregnancy discrimination. No account must be taken of your absence for pregnancy related illness, for example, in disciplinary or redundancy decisions if sickness absence is used in the selection process. Absence for pregnancy related sickness should be recorded separately from your other sickness absences.

You should not be treated unfavourably because you cannot take medication due to your pregnancy. It is advisable to get a letter from your doctor confirming this.

If your ill health is not related to your pregnancy, then you will take sick leave like any other employee.

Last updated: 12 May 2016