Are You Allowed Time Off Work for Antenatal Classes?

Pregnancy can be an incredibly busy time. There are hundreds of decisions to make, and you’ll also need to find time to attend a range of appointments and antenatal classes. It’s always important to attend the antenatal appointments set by your doctor or midwife. These appointments give your caregiver a chance to monitor how you and your baby are doing and treat any issues early on. On top of those appointments, many parents find antenatal classes to be one of the best ways to access support and information that can help you plan for what comes next. The only real challenge is taking time out of your regular schedule to attend, and people often wonder whether they’re entitled to take time off work to attend antenatal classes.

Australia’s Anti-Discrimination Laws

Anyone employed in Australia is protected by the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and Fair Work Act 2009. These two pieces of legislation both say that your employer cannot discriminate against you due to pregnancy. These laws mean you can’t be sacked, demoted or passed over for a promotion, and they also mean you’re entitled to your normal leave requirements.

Your exact working arrangements, parental leave, sick leave and compassionate leave entitlements depend on your individual employment agreement and how long you have been in the role. Leave entitlements differ between industries and awards, but most full-time employees in Australia are allowed some amount of sick leave each year.

Using Sick Leave to Take Time Off for Antenatal Classes

If you’re an employee in Australia and you are entitled to a normal amount of sick leave, you will typically be allowed to use your sick leave to attend antenatal appointments. Antenatal classes fall under this umbrella, so it’s likely that you’ll be able to use sick leave to attend an in-person antenatal class at your local hospital or birthing centre.

Not all awards, agreements or workplace policies allow expectant mothers to use sick leave to attend antenatal appointments. You’ll need to speak to your manager or human resources department to find out more about your employment conditions. Just keep in mind that you are protected by Australia’s anti-discrimination laws and that your leave entitlements can’t be reduced due to being pregnant. If you’ve used all your sick days and still need to take time off for an illness or antenatal class, you may need to use unpaid leave instead.

Can My Partner Take Time Off for Antenatal Classes?

Unfortunately, partners usually aren’t able to use sick leave entitlements to attend antenatal appointments and classes. These appointments are a major milestone in your baby’s development and partners are always encouraged to attend whenever possible. In most cases, your partner will need book time off for appointments as annual or unpaid leave. Ask your partner to speak to their employer about their parental leave entitlements to find out how to best handle any absences for antenatal classes.

Supporting Your Pregnancy with Online Antenatal Classes

Attending in-person antenatal classes can be challenging. They book up quickly and it can be hard to coordinate a day where you and your partner can both take time off to attend.

If you’d like to attend antenatal classes but are struggling to find the time, then online antenatal classes are the solution. Delivered through the internet, online classes contain all the expert information and tips you’d get from your local hospital, but they can be accessed at the times that suit you best. Whether you have a busy schedule or just want to access the information at your own pace, online antenatal classes are the best way to prepare for your baby without disrupting your life. Best of all, the information is available whenever you need it, so you can review the material as many times as you like throughout your pregnancy journey.

Manage Your Pregnancy with Antenatal Classes From Nourish Baby!

With so many things to think about during pregnancy, finding time to attend antenatal classes isn’t always easy. Online antenatal classes offer a fantastic option that allows you to access the information and support you need throughout your pregnancy, all delivered in a convenient online format. The online classes offered by Nourish Baby are designed and presented by experienced parental health professionals. Our antenatal bundles and classes are Australia’s only accredited online courses, and they provide a wealth of information about pregnancy, labour, birth and early childhood. You can contact us to find out more about our programs, or explore our collection of courses online at any time!mel

Where are you in your journey?

All journeys are unique and exciting, so we have matched our courses to your current stage of pregnancy or parenting. Simply select where you're up to below.