All pregnant employees are entitled to time off to keep appointments for antenatal care made on the advice of a registered medical practitioner, registered midwife or registered health visitor.
Antenatal care is not restricted to medical examinations. It could, for example, include relaxation classes and parentcraft classes as long as these are advised by a registered medical practitioner, registered midwife or registered health visitor.
The employer is entitled to ask for evidence of antenatal appointments, except in the case of the very first appointment. With the exception of this first antenatal appointment, the employee must show her employer on request:
- a certificate confirming that she is pregnant. This can be provided by a registered medical practitioner (e.g. a doctor), a registered midwife or a registered health visitor;
- an appointment card or some other document showing that an appointment has been made.
The employee should be paid at her normal hourly rate of pay by her employer during the period of time off for antenatal care. This rate is calculated by dividing the amount of a week’s pay by the number of the employee’s normal working hours in a week. The normal working hours will usually be clear from the agreed terms and conditions of employment, or from the employee’s written statement of main employment particulars.