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Friday, 28 April 2017

Maternity clinic visits during pregnancy

Q: My name is Neela. I wanted to find out if an employee is pregnant and she has to attend clinic will she have to take it from her sick leave or is there another type of leave allotted to this circumstance.
A: Maternity Protection Act 1998, as amended

Section 7.(4) - “An employee who is pregnant and who has, on the written advice of a qualified person, made an appointment to attend at any place for the purpose of receiving prenatal medical care shall, subject to this Act, have the right not to be unreasonably refused time off during her working hours to enable her to keep the appointment.”

Section 7.(5) - “An employee who is permitted to take time off during her working hours, in accordance with subsection (4), shall be entitled to receive pay from her employer for the period of absence.”

Unreasonably... So "reasonable" time for a "normal" pregnancy based on international standards should be:

Weeks 4 to 28: 1 prenatal visit a month
Weeks 28 to 36: 1 prenatal visit every 2 weeks
Weeks 36 to 40: 1 prenatal visit every week

Anything beyond this would be unreasonable, so the employer can refuse to pay as this would be classified as no-pay leave.

N.B. The use of sick leave in this situation would be considered fraudulent, as a clinic visit is not an illness