Q&As

If an employee has a high risk pregnancy, can the employer ask her to work extra hours to compensate for the time she takes off to attend antenatal appointments?

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Published on LexisPSL on 02/12/2019

The following Employment Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • If an employee has a high risk pregnancy, can the employer ask her to work extra hours to compensate for the time she takes off to attend antenatal appointments?

If an employee has a high risk pregnancy, can the employer ask her to work extra hours to compensate for the time she takes off to attend antenatal appointments?

An employee who is pregnant and has made an appointment to receive antenatal care (on the advice of a registered medical practitioner, registered midwife or registered nurse), has the right to be permitted to take time off during her working hours in order to enable her to keep that appointment (provided, after the second appointment, she produces the relevant evidence), and to be paid for that absence at the appropriate hourly rate. The employee can bring an employment tribunal claim if the employer unreasonably refuses to permit her to take that time off, or fails to pay her all or part of what she is entitled to be paid for it.

See Practice Note: Time off work for antenatal appointments.

According to the Acas guidance on Time off for antenatal appointments, for a first baby women can expect to have up to ten antenatal appointments. If an employee has previously had a baby then they may have about seven antenatal appointments. However, all pregnancies are different, and some women may need more antenatal visits.

Surprisingly, the law provides no explicit protection or redress to a pregnant woman employee who is subjected to any detriment by any act, or

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