Notes for employers
The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005, and various Regulations made under the Act, place a duty on you to prepare a safety statement, based on an identification and assessment of hazards and risks at work.
Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Pregnant Employees, etc.) Regulations, 2000 (S.I. No. 218 of 2000), set out the specific requirements for you on the health and safety of employees who are pregnant, have recently given birth or who are breast feeding.
Regulation 4(d) of S.I. No. 218 of 2000 requires you to provide an employee with other work where you cannot take protective or preventative measures.
Once you have established that the employee is exposed to a risk, you should take protective or preventative measures to remove the risk or offer other work during the leave period.
If you are unable to remove the risk or find suitable alternative employment, the employee must be put on health and safety leave.
You must pay the employee for the first 21 calendar days starting on the first day of the health and safety leave. If these 21 days are broken by a return to work, leave will start again (if granted later during the same pregnancy or breastfeeding period) on the day you grant the subsequent leave because of risk. The 21 days will be completed when the remaining 21 calendar days not previously taken have expired.
Example: if start date of health and safety leave/payment by the employer is 1st Feb 2010, the last date of payment will be 21 calendar days later, i.e. 21st Feb 2010. The start date of payment by the Department will be 22nd February 2010.