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Protecting pregnant workers and new mothers

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Protecting pregnant workers and new mothers

SUMMARY

This Directive sets out the basic rights of all women before and after pregnancy in the European Union (EU). The Directive is one of several ‘daughter directives’ adopted under the Framework Directive 89/391/EEC on the safety and health of workers at work.

WHAT DOES THIS DIRECTIVE DO?

This Directive aims to protect the health and safety of women in the workplace when pregnant* or after they have recently given birth*, and women who are breastfeeding*.

KEY POINTS

EU countries are required to inform employers and female workers of European Commission guidelines regarding risks to health and safety at work posed by hazardous substances and industrial processes.

Where risks are identified, employers are required to take action to protect female workers concerned e.g. moving them to another position or granting leave.

Where leave is granted, the employment rights and payment of an adequate allowance to compensate for any loss of income must be guaranteed by the employer.

Pregnant workers are not obliged to work night shifts, subject to the submission of a medical certificate,

Pregnant workers may undergo antenatal medical examinations during working hours without loss of pay.

The Directive provides for 14 weeks maternity leave of which 2 weeks must occur before birth.

Women must not be dismissed from work because of their pregnancy and maternity.

WHEN DOES THIS DIRECTIVE APPLY?

From 24 November 1992.

BACKGROUND

Directive 92/85/EEC -- pregnant workers on the EU Agency for Safety and& Health at work website

KEY TERMS

* pregnant worker: a woman who informs her employer of her condition, in accordance with national legislation and/or national practice.

* worker who has recently given birth: a woman who has recently given birth within the meaning of national legislation and/or national practice and who informs her employer of her condition, in accordance with that legislation and/or practice.

* worker who is breastfeeding: a woman who is breastfeeding within the meaning of national legislation and/or national practice and who informs her employer of her condition, in accordance with that legislation and/or practice.

ACT

Council Directive 92/85/EEC of 19 October 1992 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding (tenth individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC)

REFERENCES

Act

Date of entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 92/85/EEC

24.11.1992

19.10.1994

OJ L 348, 28.11.1992, pp. 1-7

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2007/30/EC

28.6.2007

31.12.2012

OJ L 165, 27.6.2007, pp. 21-24

Directive 2014/27/EU

25.3.2014

1.6.2015

OJ L 65, 5.3.2014, pp. 1-7

last update 14.10.2015

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