The EAT (Employment Appeal Tribunal) has recently given useful guidance on the circumstances under which an employer is under an obligation to conduct a risk assessment for a pregnant worker.

The EAT held that for an employer to be under an obligation to conduct a risk assessment these preconditions must be met:-

  • The employee notifies the employer in writing that she is pregnant;
  • The work is of a kind which could involve a risk of harm or danger to the health and safety of the expectant mother or her baby;
  • The risk arises from either processes, working conditions or physical, chemical or biological agents in the workplace.


Bear in mind however that if the conditions are met and a risk assessment is not carried out, the employer will be guilty of discrimination.

In practical terms, this guidance suggests that a risk assessment may not be needed for a clerical worker who is not exposed to “chemical or biological agents”. On the other hand, for someone carrying out physically demanding work a risk assessment should be carried out.