Pregnancy and work environment at Natural Sciences

We consider an employee’s pregnancy as a happy event and we have sharp focus on creating good and safe working conditions for both the pregnant woman and the child during and after pregnancy.

A pregnant woman and her breast-feeding child should be able to maintain as healthy and normal a work day as possible – without fearing for themselves or the (unborn) child. According to the faculty's pregnancy policy, managers, employees and occupational health and safety groups are responsible for planning daily work with due consideration for pregnant and breast-feeding women. The work environment should also generally be adapted such that it protects employees against adverse reproductive effects.

Pregnant – now what?

As soon as an employee announces her pregnancy, the immediate manager must invite the pregnant employee to a meeting about her working conditions. The employee should have the opportunity to invite the health and safety representative to the meeting.

At the meeting, the duties of the pregnant employee are reviewed to identify possible conditions that may constitute a risk for the pregnant woman, the unborn child or children who are breast-fed. These include physical/ergonomic factors, chemicals, sources of radioactivity, laboratory animals and biological agents.

Based on this, work is organised so that the pregnant/breast-feeding woman is not exposed to unnecessary workload or risk, while at the same taking into account the workload of the remaining employees. The manager is responsible for ensuring that the assessment and organisation of work are written down. 

If an employee is exposed to factors that can affect the course of the pregnancy prior to conception or in the first months of pregnancy, the employee may request the above meeting even when planning her pregnancy.

Returning from maternity/paternity leave

When an employee returns to their job after completing maternity/paternity leave, the immediate supervisor will invite the employee to a meeting about how to ensure a good start-up.

As a minimum, the meeting must include a balancing of expectations that takes into account the employee's own thoughts about resources and career plans and the manager's expectations of the employee in the start-up phase and going forward.

The meeting must also include an alignment of expectations in relation to any needs for special measures.