New ‘Day 1’ Right to Time Off
From 1 October 2014, an expectant Father or the Partner (including same sex) of a pregnant Woman will be entitled to take unpaid time off work to accompany her to up to 2 of her ante-natal appointments.
Who will qualify for this?
The ‘Partner’ can be the Woman’s husband, civil partner, or simply someone who is in a long term relationship with her. There may be a Father and a Partner: in which case both will qualify for time off!
There are no qualifying requirements: this is a ‘Day 1’ right for all employees.
Does the Partner have the right to be paid for this time?
No, the entitlement is to unpaid leave only.
How long can they be absent for?
Time off is capped at 6.5 hours per appointment.
Why is this change happening?
The Government say that it is ‘crucial to its strategic aim to encourage fathers to be involved with their children’ in what it refers to as ‘shared parenting’.
As you will by now be aware: the new Shared Parental Leave and Pay Regulations come into force on 1st December with far reaching impact on employers’ leave arrangements.