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Pregnant employees are entitled to reasonable paid time off for antenatal care, including travel time. The same rights apply to employees regardless of the number of hours worked or length of service.
Fathers and partners of pregnant women are entitled to unpaid time off to attend two ante-natal appointments (time off is capped at six and a half hours for each appointment). Adopters are allowed time off for adoption appointments and surrogacy parents will be allowed unpaid time off for two antenatal visits.
Except for the first appointment, employees may be asked by the employer to show evidence that an appointment has been made.
For a first baby it is estimated women can expect to have up to 10 antenatal appointments, but Acas recognises that some women may need more antenatal visits. Main adopters will be able to take paid time off for up to five adoption appointments. Secondary adopters and surrogate parents are entitled to take unpaid time off for up to two appointments.
‘Antenatal care’ includes medical check-ups, usually with a midwife, and parenting session or preparation for birth.