How to deal with requests for time off for antenatal care

  • Be aware that pregnant employees have the right to paid time off work for antenatal care.
  • Take into account that you are entitled to ask for evidence that an employee is pregnant and to see her appointment card, except in the case of the first appointment.
  • Although antenatal care is not expressly defined, take into account that the safest course would be to assume that relaxation and parentcraft classes are included within the definition.
  • Do not ask the employee to make up the lost working time.
  • Encourage part-timers to make antenatal appointments outside working hours but appreciate that employees cannot always control appointment times.
  • Understand that the reasonableness of a refusal will be a question of fact in each case, depending on the amount of time off requested, the employee’s health and whether or not she could have attended appointments outside working hours.
  • Be aware that the time off includes the employee’s travelling and waiting time.
  • Appreciate that an unreasonable refusal of paid time off could result in claims for the pay related to the time off, constructive unfair dismissal and sex discrimination.

More resources from XpertHR on this topic include:

Comments are closed.