Press Releases and Research

Press Release – 56% of pregnant women working outside the home do not feel safe

Press Release Friday 19th February: 27% of pregnant women working with public have not had risk assessments done

Pregnant Then Screwed is today releasing figures from a new study of 7,556 mums and pregnant women which reveals that a huge 56% of pregnant women that are working outside of the home do not feel safe. A further 66% of pregnant women working in public facing roles say that it’s impossible to keep a two metre distance.

‘Joeli Brearley, CEO and Founder Pregnant Then Screwed explains, ‘In December the Government finally released guidance on the safety of pregnant workers during Covid-19 – more than nine months after pregnant women were first classed as clinically vulnerable. The guidance reinforces existing provisions in law and states that all pregnant women must have an individual risk assessment conducted by their employer and that risk assessment must ensure a pregnant woman can adhere to active social distancing guidance. She must only continue working if the risk assessment advises that it is okay to do so, otherwise she must be suspended from work on paid leave. It is therefore very concerning that more than 1 in 4 pregnant women working outside of the home have not had a risk assessment conducted. It is even more alarming that such a large number of pregnant women working outside of the home feel unsafe at work.’’

This new research has revealed that 1 in 4 pregnant women have not had risk assessments completed by their employer, despite the clear guidance from the government. The consequences of this can be devastating.

Stephanie, a district nurse, was 36 weeks pregnant when she developed Coronavirus symptoms. She had finished work a week earlier to start her maternity leave. When Stephanie noticed reduced movements she went to the hospital for a check up. She was told her daughter was fine but they suggested they induce her to start the labour as she was Covid positive and in the later stages of pregnancy. Before the induction started, the midwife struggled to find Evelyn’s heartbeat, after some frantic tests and further scans, Stephanie was informed that her baby had died. She was alone. The next day Stephanie was induced and gave birth to her daughter naturally. They conducted a post mortem on Evelyn and discovered that Covid had obliterated her placenta, her placenta had stopped functioning and so Evelyn had died.

Joeli Brearley, CEO and Founder Pregnant Then Screwed continues, ‘We have been calling on the Government and employers to keep pregnant women safe for almost a year now, yet our research shows that we continue to stand by as thousands of pregnant women are working in environments where they feel unsafe and cannot socially distance. Study after study has revealed that pregnant women, particularly those in the later stages of pregnancy, are at greater risk of becoming severely unwell. There is also evidence that pre-term births are more likely, as is inflammation of the placenta. Surely as a society we want to do everything in our power to protect vulnerable new mums and their unborn child and ensure they feel safe? Why do we continue to turn a blind eye to this issue?’


For further press information or case studies from Pregnant Then Screwed please contact: [email protected]

Notes to Editor:

About Pregnant Then Screwed ( Pregnant Then Screwed is a charity that seeks to protect, support and promote the rights of pregnant women and mothers. We carry out extensive research into the effects of systemic cultural and institutional discrimination during pregnancy and motherhood, as it relates specifically to employment. Our support services include a free employment rights helpline, a free legal advice service, and an employment tribunal mentoring service, as well as in-person and online events.

About the research:

The research was conducted in January 2020 . The sample size was 7,556 and it was a survey of women who have given birth since December 15th, or are pregnant.

The key findings:

  • 56% of pregnant women working outside of the home said they do not feel safe at work
  • 27% of pregnant women working outside of the home said that they have not had a risk assessment
  • 66% of pregnant women working outside of the home said it was not possible to stay 2 meters away from other people at work


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