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Work and Families Act (Northern Ireland) 2015

Article 85ZE: Right to time off to accompany to ante-natal appointment

Article 85ZE(1) creates a right for an employee who has a qualifying relationship with a pregnant woman or her expected child to take time off during working hours to accompany her to an ante-natal appointment which, in accordance with paragraph (4), must be made on the advice of a designated healthcare professional. Paragraphs (7) to (10) define a qualifying relationship so that the right is available to the woman's husband, civil partner or partner; the father or parent of the pregnant woman’s expected child; and an intended parent in a surrogacy situation who meets specified conditions.

In accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3), the right to take time off can be exercised on up to two occasions for a maximum of six and a half hours on each occasion. Paragraph (5) provides that an employee is not entitled to take time off unless he or she gives the employer (upon request) a declaration in the form specified in paragraph (6). Paragraph (6) provides that the declaration must set out the employee's relationship to the woman and expected child, the purpose in taking time off, the fact that the appointment is made on the advice of a designated healthcare professional, and the date and time of the appointment.

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