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Factsheet: New Right to Accompany to Antenatal Appointments

From 1 October 2014

If you are an employee or agency worker, who has a qualifying relationship with the pregnant woman or her expectant child, you can take unpaid time off work to accompany her to up to two antenatal appointments. These should last no more than 6 ½ hours for each appointment, and this should cover your travelling, waiting and attendance.
If you are an employee this is a “day one” right.

If you work for an agency, you must have been doing the same job for at least 12 weeks, with the same hirer and there must not be any breaks between your assignments.

Qualifying relationship means

  • You are the pregnant woman’s husband or civil partner
  • You live with her in an enduring family relationship and you are not a relative
  • You are one of a same sex couple who is to be treated as the child’s other parent under the assisted reproduction provision in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008
  • You are the potential applicant for a Parental Order in relation to a child who is expected to be born to a surrogate mother

Protection from detriment and dismissal

From 1st October 2014, if you are an employee or agency worker taking time off to accompany a pregnant woman to an antenatal appointment, you will be protected from being subject to any detriment. This is any act, or deliberate failure to act, because you take leave for antenatal appointments. Examples include you being denied promotion or job opportunities or otherwise being disadvantaged for asking for this time off. It also includes your right not to be unfairly dismissed.

To speak to specialist Employment lawyers contact us today on 01273 609911, or email

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