Pregnancy and Maternity
Pregnancy and Maternity policy is covered in JSP 760 Leave and Other Allowances, Ch 24 Armed Forces Occupational Maternity Scheme (AFOMS). The Army have also created 2 guides; A Guides For Commanders and line Managers Guide and A Guide for Servicewomen which are posted on the Army-Parents-Network web page on the Army portal.
These Guides provide tools and advice to Chain of Command and Servicewomen during pregnancy at work, whilst on maternity leave and on Return to Work (RTW).
No servicewoman will be treated less favourably because she is pregnant, absent on maternity leave, or for any other reason connected with pregnancy. The health and safety of pregnant Servicewomen and her unborn child, mother and new baby will be safeguarded in accordance with the law.
A Servicewoman must notify her Chain of Command (CoC) of her pregnancy no later than 15 weeks prior to her Expected Week of Childbirth. On formal notification, the CoC should interview the Servicewoman in order that both parties can reach a common understanding of the Servicewoman’s maternity plans and the chain of command’s responsibilities to the Servicewoman and the baby.
The CoC should remain in contact with the Servicewoman whilst on maternity as good duty of care. The Servicewoman is responsible for informing her CoC and Occupational Health at APC if she experiences any issues requiring additional support whilst on maternity leave. This includes requirement for additional welfare support or if the Servicewoman becomes unwell whilst on maternity leave.
The medical downgrading of a Servicewoman as medically non deployable due to pregnancy does not mean that she cannot be routinely assigned to another unit, either on promotion or in their current substantive rank. There is a process to ensure that the Servicewoman can be assigned to a non deployable role in that unit, whilst ensuring that her employment in that role will not place her or the unborn child at undue risk.
Unless a Servicewoman volunteers otherwise, on return to work post maternity leave she will not be deployed on operations and exercises for a period of six months following birth of her child, although she may be liable for a full range of her remaining duties (compatible with any health and safety or medical grading restrictions).
A Servicewoman may choose to leave the Service prematurely on the grounds of pregnancy.