Time off work for antenatal appointments

The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Time off work for antenatal appointments
  • The right to time off for antenatal care
  • Antenatal care: the appointments
  • Antenatal care: unreasonable refusal
  • Antenatal care: entitlement to be paid
  • Antenatal care: refusal to allow paid time off
  • Antenatal care: compensation
  • The right to time off to accompany to antenatal appointments
  • Who has the right
  • The nature of the right
  • More...

Time off work for antenatal appointments

An employer or, where applicable, a temporary work agency or hirer, cannot unreasonably refuse to allow a pregnant employee, or where applicable, a pregnant agency worker, to take time off work to attend antenatal appointments for antenatal care.

Time off for antenatal appointments for antenatal care must be paid.

There is also a separate right to take unpaid time off during working hours to accompany a pregnant woman when she attends an appointment for antenatal care: see The right to time off to accompany to antenatal appointments, below.

There are similar rights to take time off to attend adoption appointments—see Practice Note: Time off work for adoption appointments.

There are some exceptions to all these rights: share fishermen and fisherwomen and certain other mariners are excluded, as are persons employed in 'police service' (as defined).

The right to time off for antenatal care

Pregnant employees (see Practice Note: Employee status) are entitled to this right from the first day of employment.

After completing the 12-week qualifying period, a pregnant agency worker (see Practice Notes: Agency worker status and Rights under the Agency Workers Regulations 2010) becomes entitled to the same right to paid time off for antenatal care. For further information regarding the law in this area relating to agency workers, see Agency workers, below.

Antenatal care: the appointments

In order to qualify for the right to time

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