A pregnant woman’s partner will, from 1 October 2014, be entitled to attend ante-natal appointments by taking unpaid time off work as per guidance produced by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
This is limited to only 2 ante-natal appointments, lasting 6.5 hours per appointment. Employers will be entitled to ask the employee for a declaration stating the details of the appointment, such as date and time. However, they cannot ask for any evidence of the appointment.
This guidance covers individuals who may be in same-sex relationships and even surrogate parents. The individual in question does not need to be the biological father of the child.
Refusal to allow an employee time off to accompany their partner can lead to employees bringing Employment Tribunal claims, and Tribunal can order the employer to pay compensation amounting to twice the hourly rate of pay for each of the hours that the person could have taken off, if they were allowed this right.
If you need employment advice, please contact our team of experienced solicitors on 01753 486 777 or alternatively come down to our offices at Windsor Crown House, 7 Windsor Way, Slough, SL1 2DX.
Amarjit Atwal, Paralegal