On the 1st of October 2014 the new Children and Families Act 2014 will give employees and agency workers the statutory right to take time off to attend antenatal appointments.
This is subject to them being in a “qualifying relationship” and applies from day one of employment, but the question is, does this time off need to be paid???
Pregnant employees have the statutory right to reasonable time off with pay to attend their antenatal appointments, however when it comes to those supporting the pregnant woman there is no corresponding right to be paid during this time.
So what would class as a qualifying relationship?:
- A pregnant woman’s husband, partner or civil partner
- The father of the child
- The parent of the child and
- Intended parents in a surrogacy situation who meets specified conditions
Although with pregnant employees you can ask to see proof of the appointment, you will be unable to do this for the father or parent of the child as the appointment relates to the mother. What you can do is request a written statement from the employee stating;
- They have a qualifying relationship with the pregnant woman or her expected child
- They are taking time off specifically to attend the antenatal appointment with her
- The appointment has been made on the advice of a registered medical practitioner, midwife or nurse
- The date and time of the appointment
There are some restrictions surrounding attendance at these appointments. Only two appointments can be attended (not all of them) and they can’t take more than six and half hours for each one.
For any help with this or any other HR matter please contact the ProAktive Employment team.