The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has published a guide for employers on the new right to unpaid time off to accompany a pregnant woman to ante-natal appointments. The new right, which comes into force on 1 October 2014, is available to employees and qualifying agency workers.
The new right is provided for in the Children and Families Act 2014, which received Royal Assent in March, and is brought into force by the Children and Families Act 2014 (Commencement No.3, Transitional Provisions and Savings) Order 2014 SI 2014/1640. It applies to the pregnant woman’s husband, civil partner or partner (including a same-sex partner), the father or parent of a pregnant woman’s child, and intended parents in a surrogacy situation who meet specified conditions. The entitlement is to unpaid leave for one or two appointments and the amount of time off is capped at 6.5 hours for each appointment.
The Act also provides, at S.128, for a new right to paid and unpaid time off work for adopters to attend meetings in advance of a child being placed with them for adoption. This right will come into force on 5 April 2015.