PLEASE NOTE: Information in this article is correct at the time of publication, please contact DFA Law for current advice on older articles.
From 1 October 2014, an expectant father or the partner (including a same sex partner) of a pregnant woman will be entitled to take unpaid time off work to accompany the woman to up to two of her ante-natal appointments.
The time off is capped at six and a half hours for each appointment.
An employer is not entitled to ask for any evidence of the ante-natal appointments, such as an appointment card, as this is the property of the expectant mother attending the appointment. However, an employer is entitled to ask the employee for a declaration stating the date and time of the appointment, that the employee qualifies for the unpaid time off through his or her relationship with the mother or child, and that the time off is for the purpose of attending an ante-natal appointment with the expectant mother that has been made on the advice of a registered medical practitioner, nurse or midwife.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has produced guidance for employers on the new right in the form of frequently asked questions.