Antenatal appointments


Antenatal care

You have a statutory right to paid time off for your antenatal care no matter how many hours you work or how long you have been working for your employer.


The Laws that protect you during your pregnancy and maternity

There are quite a few laws that give you protection at work during your pregnancy and whilst you are on maternity leave. The most important pieces of legislation are as follows;


Telling your employer about your pregnancy

You are protected against discrimination and detriment from the moment that your employer knows that you are pregnant. You don’t have to tell your employer (or prospective employer) that you are pregnant until the 15th week before your baby is due. This is the date by which you have to give notice to take maternity leave. It is a good idea to tell your employer earlier so that they can take action to protect your health and safety and give you time-off for your ante-natal appointments.

Once you let your employer know that you are pregnant, your protection from unfair dismissal, detriment and discrimination kicks in – Regulation 18 MHSWR 1999.


The protected period

Section 18(6) EqA 2010 says that the protected period begins when your pregnancy begins and ends at the end of your additional maternity leave period, or when you return to work after the pregnancy (if you return earlier). It can also end two weeks after the end of your pregnancy, if you don’t have the right to ordinary and additional maternity leave.

If after the protected period you are treated less favourably because of your pregnancy or related illness, it will still be deemed as having occurred during the protected period, and will still be regarded as discrimination – section 18(5) EqA 2010

Unfavorable treatment outside the protected period is treated as sex discrimination rather than pregnancy and maternity discrimination – section 18(7) EqA 2010

It is unlawful to discriminate against you because you are on compulsory maternity leave – section 18(3) EqA 2010

It is unlawful to discriminate against you because you are exercising or seeking to exercise, or have exercised or sought to exercise, the right to ordinary or additional maternity leave – section 18(4) EqA 2010



Resources Available

Employment Tribunal Claims

ET1: Non-payment of Holiday Pay on termination

ET1: Non-payment of holiday pay whilst still employed

ET1: Refusal to permit taking Annual Leave

ET1: Breach of Contract


How to Write a Grievance That Gets You What You Want

How to Write a Grievance About Bullying and Harassment at Work

How to Write a Grievance About Changes to Your Employment Contract

How to Write a Grievance About the Behaviour of a Colleague, Manager or Supervisor

How to Write a Grievance About Unauthorized Deductions from Your Wages or Salary


Best of the web

GOV.UK – Right for fathers and partners to attend antenatal appointments

Working Mums – Changing rotas so I don’t take ante-natal appointments in work hours

Working Families – Time off work when your partner is pregnant

Maternity Action – Pregnant at work

Rights at work for fathers and partners

ACAS – Time off for antenatal appointments

Worksmart from TUC: Can I take time off work to attend antenatal classes?

BIS: Time off to accompany a pregnant woman to antenatal appointments

Health and Safety Executive – Risk Assessments

– New and expectant mothers who work

– New and expectant mothers

Citizens Advice – Rights while you’re pregnant at work

Pregnancy and maternity discrimination at work

– Parental rights at work




This resource is published by Employee Rescue Limited. Please note that the information and any commentary on the law contained herein is provided free of charge for information purposes only. The information and commentary does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice. Employee Rescue accepts no responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material contained in this update. Further specialist advice should be taken before relying on the contents of this summary. No part of this summary may be used, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the prior permission of Employee Rescue Ltd.


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Case Study

Westlake v ZSL London Zoo (2015) An employment tribunal ruled that a London Zoo meerkat handler who got into a Christmas party fight with a monkey specialist over their love rivalry for a llama keeper was unfairly dismissed, however she received nothing in compensation.  The employment tribunal said that two zookeepers who got into a fight at London Zoo’s Christmas party should have received the same disciplinary sanction. At London Zoo’s Christmas party, zookeeper Ms Westlake got into a fight with a colleague, Ms Sanders. The fight appeared to originate over another zookeeper Mr Davies, Sanders’ former boyfriend who was... Read More
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