Do you have a policy on staff making medical appointments in work time? Do you allow it? Or do people need to take annual leave or unpaid time off?

With some staff still booking appointments for Covid vaccinations and boosters and catching up on other medical or dental appointments which had been postponed, you will probably have noticed increased requests for time off for appointments recently.

A flexible approach to medical appointments where possible is likely to result in reduced sick leave and be beneficial for your business; and if appointments can’t be made outside the normal working day then you can ask staff to work back any time that they are away. Make sure you check though on the exact nature of the medical appointment as the law does allow for the right to paid time off for appointments in some cases. Pregnant employees are entitled to time off, including travel time, with full pay for pregnancy-related appointments. As each pregnancy is unique there is no prescribed number of appointments in law, only that it must be a reasonable amount, and as an employer you can ask for an appointment card or other evidence after the first antenatal appointment. Rights to paid and unpaid time off to attend appointments also exist for partners in the case of pregnancy and employees who are adopting or using surrogacy, in these cases it’s important to check and it’s often a good idea to have a policy in place that you can refer to.

It is worth monitoring appointment requests to ensure that you don’t have too many staff who are out at the same time and if needed you can ask for proof of an appointment. The key is for there to be open communication and a consistent, flexible approach so that staff know how to request time off for an appointment, who to make the request to and for communication to flow back so that staff know if the time off has been granted and how that time is to be taken.

Do you have questions about time off for appointments.

Give us a call at CUBE HR on 01282 678321, we’ll be happy to advise you and we have policies and templates available to meet every HR need.

Why not check out our post on a similar topic Time Off For Appointments – 3 Things You Should Know

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