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12 Days of Christmas – Day 1: All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth…

…and some time off work to go the dentist please! If you receive a plea from an employee for time off to attend a dental or GP appointment here’s a few points to (polar) bear in mind.

Say cheese:

Check your policy – many employers have a policy on allowing time off for dental and GP appointments. It’s important  to know whether your employees are usually required to use holiday, make up the time, take it unpaid or if other rules apply.

Help employees to get it right when it comes to asking for time off in these circumstances by ensuring your policy is clearly communicated.

Engage with requests for time off by responding as soon as possible, not only will this get a job off your desk but employees will appreciate it, particularly as it can sometimes be difficult to get an appointment!

Emergencies happen, whether dental or medical, in such situations it’s important to act appropriately and reasonably when it comes to allowing time off for an appointment.

Special rules may apply to some appointments an employee needs to attend – be alert to this. One of the most common examples being a pregnant woman who has an ante-natal appointment. If you are unsure of your duties regarding time off, we can provide you with advice.

Equalities Act awareness is important when dealing with medical matters. Remember, if an employee is disabled, they have the right not to be discriminated against and you are under a duty to make reasonable adjustments to help them in some circumstances. This can include allowing an employee to be absent from work to obtain treatment. Whilst this more commonly comes into play regarding appointments to see a doctor, it’s important to be alert to discrimination issues in relation to time off to see a dentist as well and to seek advice on the facts of your case when needed.

If you would like advice on time off for dental or medical appointments or help with any other employment law matter, please do not hesitate to contact Kingfisher as we are happy to help.

*Kingfisher refers to Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd