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Six legal requirements you need to know about managing pregnant employees

by , 23 March 2015
You can't unfairly discriminate against an employee because of her pregnancy. It doesn't matter if it's direct or indirect discrimination (Section 6, EEA).

This is just one requirement you need to know about when it comes to managing pregnant employees. There are five other dos and don'ts you need to know about managing pregnant employees so you can protect yourself against an unfair labour practice case.

Keep reading below to familiarise yourself with all six general dos and don'ts to manage pregnant employees...

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Six general dos and don╩╝ts to manage pregnant employees

1. Don't assume your employee's pregnant. There are potential discrimination issues that can come up if you don't handle the issue privately and discreetly.

2. Don't discriminate against, or dismiss any employee becuase of her pregnancy (Sections 9(3) and (4), Constitution, Section 187(l), LRA, Section 6, EEA)

3. Do remember that all potential employees are also protected by the law and you must give their employment application the same fair and equal consideration as all other applicants.

4. Do let your employee be the one to let management know she's pregnant. You can then set the administrative wheels in motion.

5. Do make sure she's clear on your organisation's maternity policy and any pregnancy-related benefits that you offer or which will be affected by her maternity leave. She must also understand any return-to-work policies.

6. Do follow doctor recommendations to the letter. If an employee's ability to physically perform her job's affected by her pregnancy, it's up to her to provide written instructions from her doctor. Legally, you're expected to carefully follow the doctor's directions on how long the employee can work, her physical limitations, and necessary time off during the pregnancy. It may be necessary to remove the employee from work activities or work environments which may pose a danger to her or her baby at this time.

You can find the maternity sample policy in chapter M09:Maternity leave of your Practical Guide to Human Resources Management. If you don't have a copy yet, you can get it here.

P.S. You don't need to pay lots of money for HR consultants. You can have your own HR department at your service! Click here to find out how you can get hints, tips, checklists, questionnaires, template forms, step-by-step instructions and practical examples to help you manage your employees effectively and legally.


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