When a Child is Born…

Published December 18 2020

In this article

Share this article

We thought it was a fitting time to have a look at three fast facts around pregnancy and maternity rights that you may find helpful.

1. Ante-natal appointments

Most employers are aware that they need to allow a pregnant employee reasonable paid time off to keep appointments for antenatal care which are made on the advice of a registered medical practitioner, registered midwife or registered health visitor. But it’s not just a pregnant woman that can be entitled to time off for ante-natal appointments.

Expectant fathers and a pregnant woman’s spouse, partner or civil partner are entitled to take time off work to accompany her to a maximum of two antenatal appointments. However, unlike a pregnant employee, the maximum amount of time an accompanying person can take for each of the two appointments they are entitled to attend is 6 hours and 30 minutes and there is no statutory right to be paid for the time off.

2. Starting statutory maternity leave

A woman will usually need to notify you of her intention to take maternity leave by the end of the 15th week before her expected week of childbirth, unless it is not reasonably practicable for her to do so.

Normally the earliest a woman can start maternity leave is 11 weeks before the expected week of childbirth. However, maternity leave will automatically start earlier if the baby is born early or the mother is absent for a pregnancy-related reason after the beginning of the 4th week before her expected week of childbirth and she has not yet started her maternity leave.

3. Pregnancy and maternity protections

There are a number of protections pregnant employees and new mothers have, these include:

  • It being automatically unfair to dismiss an employee for reasons connected with pregnancy, childbirth or statutory maternity leave
  • Protection from discrimination because of pregnancy and maternity or sex
  • Protection from harassment

It’s important to ensure that pregnant employees and new mothers are treated lawfully and appropriately. If you would like advice on a situation in your organisation, please do not hesitate to contact Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd as we are happy to help.