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Employment Law

Legal guidance - compliance - software

10 JUL 2015

Antenatal, adoption and surrogacy - do you know your employees' rights?

Antenatal, adoption and surrogacy - do you know your employees' rights?
Alice Reeve
Partner, Veale Wasbrough Vizards

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) has recently published two guides explaining the rights to leave for attending antenatal and adoption appointments and on surrogacy.

The new guidance follows a change in the law which introduced a right for fathers, partners and civil partners to take time off to attend antenatal appointments from October 2014 and a right to time off to attend adoption appointments from 5 April 2015, subject to an employer's right to refuse the time off where it is reasonable to do so.

In relation to antenatal and adoption appointments, the new ACAS guide highlights the following points:

  • pregnant employees are entitled to reasonable paid time off for antenatal care. For a first baby, women can expect to have up to 10 antenatal appointments and will need to show documentation confirming appointments to their employer after their first appointment. Fathers, partners and civil partners of pregnant women are entitled to unpaid time off to attend two antenatal appointments.
  • surrogate parents could also be entitled to attend two unpaid antenatal appointments if they expect to satisfy the conditions for, and intend to apply for a Parental Order for the child.
  • employees who are adopting a new child are entitled to take paid time off too. The main adopter is allowed to take paid time off for up to 5 appointments and their partner is entitled to take unpaid time off for up to 2 appointments.
  • time off for each appointment is capped at six and a half hours.
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