On May 1, 2017, a new ordinance of the Council of Ministers entered into force on the list of works that are burdensome, dangerous or harmful for the health of pregnant and breastfeeding women. The ordinance will replace the existing implementing rules, issued on the basis of art. 176 of the Labor Code, which regulates the issues of work forbidden to women.

The ordinance lists the works forbidden to pregnant and breastfeeding women and not women in general. This means that as of May 1, 2017, there is no list of works that women other than pregnant or breastfeeding cannot perform. The discussed regulation is intended to implement Council Directive 92/85/EEC of 19.10.1992 on the introduction of measures to promote improvements in the safety and health of pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding in the workplace.

In the appendix to the ordinance, there is a list of works that are burdensome, dangerous or harmful for the health of pregnant and breastfeeding women. The list includes i.a. works involving excessive physical effort, including manual transport of loads, work in cold, hot and variable microclimates, in elevated or decreased pressure conditions, and works at risk of serious physical or psychological injuries.

Pregnant women are prohibited to i.a. work on posts equipped with monitor screens – in total for over 8 hours per day, whereas the time spent using a monitor screen should not be more than 50 minutes at a time, after which there should be at least a 10-minute break, which is included in working time. In the case of breastfeeding women, the regulation does not provide for restrictions on the use of monitor screens.

It is also significant that the ordinance separates works forbidden to pregnant women and those forbidden to breastfeeding women. This is because each of these groups has different parameters of work.