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Q: We have employed a lady to cover another employee who is absent on maternity leave and the lady providing the cover has just announced that she is pregnant and is asking for time off to attend ante-natal appointments. Surely, we don’t have to pay her for these do we? A: Under Section 18 of the Equality Act 2010, if an employer treats a woman unfavourably because she is pregnant, this would amount to pregnancy and maternity discrimination which is unlawful. It makes no difference whether she is a full time employee or providing maternity cover on a fixed-term contract, she will be entitled to full pay for ante-natal appointments.

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