From 1st October 2014, an expectant father or partner of a pregnant woman will be entitled to unpaid time off work to accompany her to ante-natal appointments.
The Government’s aim is to encourage involvement of fathers with their children from the earliest possible stage.
The right for unpaid leave applies to the father of the baby, the spouse of the expectant mother, her civil partner, or partner (of either sex) in an enduring relationship and intended parents of the child in a surrogacy arrangement who meet specified conditions.
The unpaid leave is for one or two appointments. The maximum time allowed for each appointment is 6 ½ hours.
The employee does not require any qualifying period of employment to exercise this right and does not have to provide evidence of the ante-natal appointment. The employer can request a signed declaration stating the employee’s relationship with the woman that they intend to accompany to an ante-natal appointment as advised by a medical practitioner and the date and time of the appointment.
If the request is refused the employee can complain to an Employment Tribunal and if successful will be entitled to a declaration and compensation at twice the hourly rate of pay for each of the hours they could have taken off work.
If you require further advice on this or any other employment matter, please contact Richard Green on 01905 721630 or email firstname.lastname@example.org