Dads’ FAQs: Right to attend antenatal appointments

1 October 2014

From 1 October 2014, expectant dads have the right to take unpaid time off work to accompany their pregnant wife or partner to up to 2 of her ante-natal appointments.

The right extends to the spouse or civil partner of the pregnant woman, or a person (of either sex) in a long term relationship with her. It applies whether the child is conceived naturally or through donor insemination, or via a surrogacy arrangement.

The expectant dad is entitled to unpaid leave for 1 or 2 appointments, with the time off capped at six and a half hours for each appointment.

Employees will be eligible to take advantage of the new right straight away without accruing a minimum period of service. Qualifying agency workers are required to have been doing the same kind of job for the same hirer for at least 12 weeks.

Employers are not entitled to ask for any evidence of the ante-natal appointments, such as an appointment card, as this is the property of the expectant mother attending the appointment.

But they can ask the employee for a declaration stating the date and time of the appointment, and clarifying that the employee qualifies for the unpaid time off through his or her relationship with the mother or child, and that the time off is for the purpose of attending an ante-natal appointment with the expectant mother that has been made on the advice of a registered medical practitioner, nurse or midwife.

Employers can, if they wish, offer more time to enable dads and others to attend other antenatal appointments.

Sometimes the pregnant woman’s husband or partner and the father of the child will not be the same person. In such cases the government has made clear that both the partner or husband and the father may each have a right to time off for up to 2 appointments – although in practice, where such circumstances arise the woman is unlikely to want both to accompany her to an ante-natal appointment.

For more details visit the Government website.

 

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