Hi girls, I have two anti-natal classes coming up before Christmas and i'm just wondering if I am entitled to go to these as i am with the general scans during working hours. Also, does anybody know if my DH Would be entitled time off work to go to these aswell? Up until now all our scans have been very early in the morning before work so we haven't asked for any time off for the pregnancy. The classes are both in the mornings i think 9.30am - 12.30.
Time off work and Antenatal Classes
Section 8 of the Maternity Protection (Amendment) Act 2004 (PDF) a[b:2614r17i]llows pregnant women to take paid time off work to attend one set of antenatal classes (but not the last three of the series of classes as these would normally occur after maternity leave has started). This right to attend only one set of antenatal classes (except the last three in a set) covers all pregnancies while in employment.[/b:2614r17i] It doesn't mean you have the right to paid time off work to attend antenatal classes each time you are pregnant in employment. Instead, the entitlement covers one set of classes over all your pregnancies. If for any reason you are unable to attend some classes due to reasons beyond your control (i.e., premature birth, illness, miscarriage, stillbirth) you can carry over your entitlement to paid time off work to attend any untaken classes to your subsequent pregnancies (except the last three in a set). Here's an example:
You are attending a set of 8 classes and this is your first pregnancy in employment. You are only entitled to be paid while attending 5 of those classes (again, as the other three would occur while you are on maternity leave). If for example, you become ill and cannot attend all 5 classes this time, you may carry over your entitlement to paid leave from employment to attend untaken classes, to your following pregnancies.
[b:2614r17i]Expectant fathers have a once-off right to paid time off work to attend the two antenatal classes immediately prior to the birth. This entitlement does not extend to every pregnancy while the woman is in employment – it’s just a once-off right only.[/b:2614r17i] The provision for paid time off work to attend ante-natal classes for expectant parents was brought into effect in SI 653 of 2004 Maternity Protection (Time off for Ante–Natal Classes) Regulations 2004 .
In order to take this time off work, the employee must notify their employer in writing at least two weeks before classes commence, outlining the dates and times of the classes. Employers can request written evidence of the classes (dates, times, etc.). This new provision allowing expectant parents to take time off work to attend antenatal classes comes into effect from the 18th October, 2004.
Hope that helps!