From 1 October 2014 employees and agency workers with a minimum of 12 weeks’ service are entitled to take unpaid time off work to accompany an expectant mother to an ante-natal appointment on up to two occasions where the appointment is made on the advice of a health professional. The right to time off is capped at 6.5 hours for each appointment.
The employer is not entitled to ask for evidence of the appointment but is entitled to ask for details of the appointment, the status of the employee with the mother and child, and for confirmation that time off is for the purpose of attending an ante-natal clinic. If you are unreasonably refused time off you might be able to bring a claim for compensation within 3 months beginning with the day of the appointment in question. The compensation payable is twice the hourly rate of pay for the period when the employee or agency worker would have been entitled to be absent.
If you require employment advice please contact our employment specialist Yulia Barnes on 01795 533337.