A committee of MPs are urging the HSE to change its guidance on managing risks to pregnant women at work to force employers to carry out individual risk assessments for all new and expectant mothers.

It comes after a study by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) earlier this year found that thousands of mothers are forced out of work each year because their employers are not tackling safety risks.

In its report on pregnancy and maternity discrimination, released on 31 August, the Women and Equalities Select Committee said that the HSE should incorporate a new requirement for employers to carry out individual risk assessments into its existing guidance for employer, INDG373. Although the MPs stopped short of recommending that individual risk assessments become law, it did tell the HSE to “ensure that it is properly enforced”.

The report also asks the HSE to produce model risk assessments for particular sectors and occupations by the end of the year.

The HSE responded to Pregnancy and discrimination in the workplace, recommendations for change by making a commitment to revisit its guidance for managing risks to new and expectant mothers.