Right to Accompany Partner to Ante-natal Appointments
Since October 2014 fathers and partners of pregnant women have the right to take unpaid time off work to accompany their partner to a midwife or obstetrician ante-natal appointment.
The right is to unpaid time off on up to two occasions for a maximum of 6.5 hours each, although employers can be more generous if they wish. Pregnant women already have the right to paid time off to attend any appointments for ante-natal care.
Eligibility for the new right depends on an employee having a “qualifying relationship” with the pregnant woman or the child and intended parents in a surrogacy situation also qualify for the new right.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has published guidance on the new rights, which points out, among other things, that more than one employee may have a qualifying relationship with the same woman. For example, where the father of the child and the woman’s partner or husband are different people, both individuals may well be eligible to time off.
This is a “day-one right”, so employees will not need to accrue a minimum amount of service with their employer before taking advantage of it. Agency workers also acquire the right after 12 weeks of working in the same role for the same employer.
Posted on 19 Nov 2016