Health and safety protection of pregnant women - the most important aspects


A woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding can count on special privileges in the field of health and safety regulations. They are mainly related to the prohibition of employment in heavy work and work harmful to health, as well as the granting of special powers. The list of hard work is defined by the Council of Ministers in the Regulation of 10 September 1996 on the list of particularly burdensome or harmful work to women's health. The protection of pregnant women has been regulated in detail, which will be discussed later in this article.

Work prohibited for women expecting a child

Protection of pregnant women is implemented thanks to the Regulation of the Council of Ministers on the list of works that are particularly burdensome or harmful to women's health, which divides the types of work into individual categories. Pursuant to the Regulation, pregnant women are not allowed to perform work:

  • Related to physical effort and transport of loads and the forced body position:

    • for pregnant or breastfeeding women, it is forbidden to work in a standing position for a total of more than 3 hours during a shift,

  • In a cold, hot and changing microclimate,

  • In noise and vibrations

  • In conditions of exposure to electromagnetic fields, ionizing and ultraviolet radiation and working with screen monitors:

    • work at the screen monitor cannot exceed 4 hours a day,

  • Underground, below ground level and at height,

  • At elevated or reduced pressure,

  • In contact with harmful biological agents that pose a risk of infection, such as:

    • HIV

    • hepatitis B

    • chickenpox and shingles virus,

    • rubella virus

  • In exposure to harmful chemicals:

    • work involving exposure to carcinogens and likely carcinogens,

  • In conditions where there is a risk of severe physical and mental injuries, including:

    • extinguishing fires,

    • chemical rescue operations,

    • work with explosives,

    • work on the slaughter of farm animals and the handling of breeders.

Protection of pregnant women

Change of position while retaining the right to the current remuneration

If a woman expecting a child who does not perform forbidden work, but due to the doctor's recommendations, it is advisable to change her current job, the employer is obliged to transfer the pregnant employee to another position. If the change of job results in a reduction in remuneration, the employee is entitled to a compensatory supplement, which will be supplemented by her current remuneration up to the amount of remuneration in the previous position. If the transfer is impossible, the protection of pregnant women forces the employer to release the employee from the obligation to perform work while ensuring the current remuneration.

Prohibition of working beyond working hours and additional dismissals from work

Protection of pregnant women also applies to night work, namely that a pregnant worker may not work at night or work overtime. The employer is also obliged to allow employees to perform pregnancy-related medical examinations during their work, if it is impossible to perform these examinations outside working hours. In such a situation, the woman retains the right to full remuneration. Start a free 30-day trial period with no strings attached!

Protection of pregnant women working on the screen monitor

Pursuant to the regulations that came into force on May 1, 2017, pregnant women working on a screen monitor have the right to a 10-minute break, included in the working time, after every 50 minutes of work in front of the monitor. This provision changes the previous one, which said that the working time of a pregnant woman in front of the monitor cannot exceed 4 hours. The new regulation significantly extends this time, after deducting breaks, an employee can spend 6 hours 40 minutes in front of the monitor, working full-time.

Protection of pregnant women working in a standing position

A pregnant woman, whose nature of work requires them to stand up, cannot do this work for more than 3 hours a day. What is new, however, is the introduction by the legislator of the provision that the working time in a standing position at one time may not exceed 15 minutes, followed by a 15-minute break.

Posting outside the workplace is prohibited

An employee may not be posted outside of her permanent workplace or be employed in the system of interrupted working time, unless the pregnant woman agrees.

A place to rest

Pursuant to the Regulation of the Minister of Labor and Social Policy on general health and safety regulations, an employer who employs more than 20 women in one shift in order for the protection of pregnant women to be properly implemented in the workplace must provide a special room with an area of ​​at least 8 square meters. square, allowing pregnant women to rest in a supine position.

Additional breaks at work

An employee who is breastfeeding her child has the right to two half-hour breaks at work, which are included in the working time. If an employee feeds more than one child, she is entitled to two breaks of 45 minutes each. At the employee's request, the breaks may be granted jointly. If a nursing woman works less than 4 hours a day, she is not entitled to breaks for breastfeeding, and if she performs work for 6 hours a day, she is entitled to one break.