Pregnancy at NTNU

These guidelines are for pregnant employees, students, and their leaders.

Norsk versjon - Gravid ved NTNU

Topic page about HSE | Pages labelled with pregnancy

Pregnancy in the workplace and studies #

NTNU’s policy is to allow pregnant employees and students the opportunity to participate in work and studies as long as this is possible. In many cases this will require accommodation, and the employee must conduct a risk assessment in terms of workplace safety for the pregnant woman. In the assessment, the pregnant woman’s own perception of the situation should be taken into account. Upon request and if necessary, the employer should offer alternative work tasks to allow the pregnant woman to continue working.

Specifically for students #

Students who perform practical work, such as lab or workshop work, are to be treated as employees and are covered by the Work Environment Act(in Norwegian). The leader is responsible for performing risk assessments and facilitating work in relation to pregnancy. The leader in this case can be the course teacher, project leader, head of department or supervisor, depending on the case and situation. Pregnant students who need special accommodations in their office are no longer consider as employees, because the student is no longer performing practical work. The student is the no longer covered by the Work Environment Act, but by The University and University College Act. Read more about student work environment – rights and duties (in Norwegian).

The leader’s responsibilities #

Accommodation and checklists #

The leader is responsible for accommodating the workplace for the pregnant woman. The leader should ensure that pregnant employees are protected from discomfort and injury in the workplace and work environment, in addition to accommodating the situation for the individual. Pregnancy is a state in constant evolution, and flexibility and monitoring are required throughout the entire pregnancy. There will always be pregnant women at NTNU. The number of pregnant woman in an large organization can be roughly approximated by the following model. Take X as the number of female employees under 40. Multiply X by 0.07 to give a rough estimate of the number of pregnant women at any given time. This estimate can be used by leaders to get a feel for how often these situations will come up.

Deadlines and time frames #

Once a leader becomes aware of the pregnancy, he or she should:

  • Have a meeting with the pregnant employee as soon as possible. The meeting should focus on the employee’s work situation, risk factors and the need for special accommodations. It may be a good idea to include Occupational Health Services in the discussion.
  • Create a monitoring plan (form from NAV, in Norwegian). The plan should cover possible risk factors, what the pregnant employee can do, what she cannot do, suggestions to accommodation, and what has previously been done. The monitoring plan should be used preventatively, that is, before sick leave is taken. If sick leave is taken, the monitoring plan should be sent to the person who wrote the medical certificate (doctor, midwife, chiropractor, or similar).
  • Provide follow-up meetings if necessary. The condition of the pregnant worker may change quickly. Close monitoring is key, so that small, continuous changes can be made to accommodate the situation.
  • Inform the HR consultant at the unit. The HR consultant should also be informed if the employee has to go on sick leave because of her pregnancy, so that they can apply to NAV for exemption from the employment period. This does not apply to students.
  • Inform the pregnant employee that the HR consultant will help with filing the application for leave of absence.

What should the pregnant employee/student do? #

The employee/student should inform their leader as early as possible about their pregnancy so that the need for special accommodations can be determined and implemented. If you are pregnant or are planning to become so, but don’t want to inform your leader in the early stages, contact Occupational Health Services for advice. While you are pregnant, you are given paid leave to go to your prenatal check-ups.

Employees #

  • Apply for Parental leave and benefits
  • The parental leave starts no later than three weeks before the due date. The last three weeks before the due date and the first six weeks after the birth are reserved for the mother.

Students #

  • Can apply for a leave of absence from their studies.
  • You are not required to apply for a leave of absence. You can continue your education and receive a parental scholarship.
  • If you take leave more than 3 weeks before the birth, you may lose your right to the parental scholarship, unless you are sick or the educational institution you study at requires it.
  • If sickness requires you to take leave more than three weeks before your due date, Lånekassen requires documentation from a doctor.
  • If the educational institution you study at requires you to take leave more than three weeks before the due date, Lånekassen requires documentation from the institution explaining this requirement.
  • May additionally apply for a one-time stipend from NAV. This stipend does not affect the amount you receive from Lånekassen.
  • For more help, contact Accomodation services at Student Services.

What kind of work can pregnant women do? #

According to the Work Environment Act, employees and students should collaborate to achieve a responsible work environment. NTNU as the employer is in charge, and can decide what types of tasks the employee or student can continue with during the pregnancy. For example, a master’s student cannot freely decide whether they will continue with their project in a chemical laboratory during the pregnancy. The leader decides whether to stop this work. If accommodation and relocation has been tried or consider, but found not to be feasible:

The employee can apply for a pregnancy stipend (in Norwegian).

Student can sit written examinations. Pregnant women are also required to take more suitable work offered by NTNU instead of work NTNU deems harmful to the pregnancy. If the pregnant employee and NTNU cannot agree on suitable work, the case can be taken to the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority. More information can be found on the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority’s fact page on pregnancy and work environment.

Possible exposure to health risks before and during the pregnancy #

This section is under construction, and will contain links to pages on different types of exposure. The pages currently being developed are:

Help (in Norwegian) #

NTNU regulations #

Legislation (in Norwegian) #

Contact Information #

Approval/signature #

Approved by Director of HSE – July 4th 2014 - HMSR51E – ePhorte 2014

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