MumsVet, the British Equine Veterinary Association’s (BEVA) online support platform for equine veterinary professionals juggling work and parenthood, has introduced important guidance resources for employers with pregnant staff. The BEVA Checklist for Employers with Pregnant Staff and the Risk Assessment form for New and Expectant Mothers are available as downloads for all working in the veterinary profession.
Working as an equine veterinary professional poses significant health and safety risks, not least for new or expectant mothers. Vicki Nicholls, co-founder of MumsVet, member of the postgraduate unit at the University of Liverpool Equine Hospital and former President of BEVA explains: “The nature of equine work presents different challenges for pregnant women and working parents. Lone working, often out of hours in potentially dangerous environments with unpredictable patients, and the paucity of trained support staff in an ambulatory setting are specific challenges to equine vets both male and female. Add pregnancy into the mix and the challenges suddenly increase even further.”
The new BEVA Checklist for Employers with Pregnant Staff provides key information to help support employers and highlight best practice. It covers the appropriate steps to take as well as the legal requirements when an employee announces she is pregnant, what to do during the pregnancy, through maternity leave and on return to work. The Risk Assessment for New and Expectant Mothers provides some examples of the main hazards likely to be encountered by equine vets, their associated risks and the appropriate control measures.
Lucy Grieve, co-founder of MumsVet, ambulatory vet at Rossdales, Newmarket and member of BEVA Council said: “Used in conjunction with each other our two new resources will help to guide and reassure employers that they are taking the correct steps and will ensure that the entire team has been taken into consideration –and not just the pregnant person. New and expectant mothers working in the right conditions within a safe environment will have added incentive to return to work after maternity leave, and importantly this will help retain the experience we need in the profession.”
MumsVet is a one-stop shop for information and support for veterinary employees (and employers) who are also mums or dads facing questions posed by pregnancy, parental leave and returning to work as a parent in equine practice. Through a series of interactive blogs, podcasts, real life stories, career guidance, educational articles and thought-provoking social media posts MumsVet provides guidance for realistic expectations, resources for difficult situations, and support and reassurance for practices and parents to combine work and family.
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