House approves bill on the return of pregnant women to the office

Pregnant covid
Photo: AnikonaAnn/Shutterstock

The Brazilian House approved a bill on Wednesday foreseeing the return of pregnant women to in-person work. The bill changes a law enacted in May this year, in which pregnant women were ordered to work remotely, without any loss in remuneration. According to the bill’s rapporteur, Congresswoman Paula Belmonte, the current legislation imposes “an excessive burden on employers,” who “have to pay their [pregnant employees’] salaries during the period of leave.”

The new bill states that pregnant workers must return to in-person work after being fully vaccinated, completing pregnancy, or once the coronavirus public health emergency elapses.

For future mothers not wishing to receive vaccination, they can return to in-person work providing they sign a declaration “pledging to comply with all preventive measures adopted by the employer.” The report also states that the option of refusing vaccination is “an expression of the fundamental right to freedom of individual self-determination, which cannot be imposed on pregnant women.”

Opposition lawmakers criticized the text, saying it brings vaccine refusal into Brazilian legislation.