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If You Have A Medical Appointment In Work Time, Are You Free To Attend?

Under UK law, employees do not have the legal right to attend medical appointments in work time, so what happens when you need to attend?

For doctors’ appointments, hospital appointments and dental    appointments your employer is entitled to take the time out of your holiday allowance.

There are, as expected certain exceptions, and it is important that you know what they are.

The essential exception is pregnancy, but even then there are complications. If you are a pregnant woman you are entitled for time off to attend antenatal care but only if it is advised by a midwife, health visitor or doctor. If you decide to go on your own, without that advice, your employer can still take the time from your holiday allowance.

If however you suffer from a disability, your employer has to be more flexible. Within the terms of your employment, your employer must make what are called “reasonable allowances” for that disability. Allowing you to attend a medical appointment falls within the definition of “reasonable allowances”.

If you need advice on  whether or not you fall under the definition of a disabled person in the terms of the Equality Act, ask your local Citizens Advice Bureau for assistance.


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