Managing your employee's paternity leave and pay

Attending pregnancy-related appointments

The partner of someone who's pregnant has the right to time off work to attend 2 pregnancy-related ('antenatal') appointments.

This time off is unpaid unless the employment contract says otherwise. 

If your employee does not want to take unpaid time off, they could ask to take it as holiday or make up the hours later. Both you and the employee would need to agree this.

It's a good idea for you to be flexible and understanding towards an employee's circumstances, for example you could:

  • offer them paid time off if possible
  • be aware they may need more time off, as some pregnancies can be difficult

How much time they can take

They have the legal right to take up to 6.5 hours per antenatal appointment. This time includes travel to and from the appointment.


By law, an employee can take unpaid time off for 2 antenatal appointments if they're using surrogacy and will become the child's legal parent once it's born.


By law:

  • the main adopter is entitled to paid time off for 5 adoption appointments

  • the secondary adopter is entitled to take unpaid time off for 2 appointments

Some employment contracts might allow for more, or paid, time off for these appointments.