Time off entitlement for expectant mum’s partners to attend antenatal sessions

In September 2014 the Government published BIS guidelines setting out workers’ new entitlement to time off so they can accompany partners to antenatal sessions.

From their first day in the job employees and agency workers can take unpaid leave to accompany their partner to up to two antenatal sessions per pregnancy.

Eligible workers can be absent from work for up to six and a half hours per session. The new rights come into force on October 1st 2014.

Who is eligible for the unpaid antenatal leave?

The guidelines have defined qualifying relationships with the mother or the child. You can take leave for an antenatal session if:

  • You are the pregnant woman’s husband or civil partner;
  • You live with the woman in a heterosexual or same sex partnership;
  • You are the baby’s father;
  • You are in a same sex couple and will be treated as the child’s other parent in law;
  • You are applying for a parental order in relation to a birth to a surrogate mother.

The guidelines also state that in the limited cases where the husband or partner and father are not the same person, both workers are entitled to time off.

Furthermore, if the employee is fathering children at the same time by two or more women, he is entitled to take time off to accompany each of them.

This is a very brief overview of the new guidelines and there are further details, such as differing rights for employees and agency workers, to bear in mind.

Please contact us if you employ people and need detailed advice about your situation.

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