Antenatal Appointments

 30 September 2015

There are a number of parental rights that are essential for employers to comply with. Perhaps the most widely known of these is the right for a mother to take time off work to attend antenatal appointments. This time off must be paid and is not restricted to medical examinations – it may also encompass classes that are associated with their pregnancy. The time off for each appointment is capped at six and a half hours and this includes travel and waiting time.

From October 2014, those with a “qualifying relationship” (most typically if they are the pregnant woman’s partner) are entitled to time off to attend up to two antenatal appointments. This time off is unpaid, unless the employer wishes to make a discretionary payment or is contractually bound to make a payment.

As of 5 April 2015, employees who are adopting a child are also entitled to time off to attend adoption appointments. This may be either paid time off (for up to 5 appointments) or unpaid time off (for up to 2 appointments), depending on whether the employee is the ‘main adopter’.

All of the above rights are not subject to a qualifying period. That means that these rights are present from day one of the employment relationship.

If you require any help or advice in relation to parental rights, or any other area of employment law, please feel free to contact us. We are specialists in providing bespoke advice tailored to the needs of your company.


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