The Pregnant Workers Directive (PWD) implemented a protected period which starts when a pregnant worker informs their employer of their pregnancy.
Advocate General Sharpston has now indicated that the purpose behind the PWD was to protect women who are inevitably more vulnerable as a result of their pregnancy, whether they are aware of their pregnancy or not.
She has therefore suggested that the protected period should start on the first day of pregnancy. She has also suggested that employees should be under a duty to notify their employer of their pregnancy at the earliest opportunity. Ultimately the matter is for the European Court of Justice to determine.