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June 28, 2019

David Linden MP calls for extension of parental leave for parents of premature and sick babies

David Linden MP has brought forward a Private Member's Bill to extend parental leave for parents whose babies need neonatal care after they are born.

This follows a letter from Bliss, alongside other leading baby charities and MPs, to Minister Kelly Tolhurst expressing growing concern that the Government is backtracking on commitments to publish the findings of its review into parental leave provision for parents of premature, sick or multiples who need neonatal care.

The Parental Leave (Premature and Sick Babies) Bill seeks to make it a requirement by law for parents of premature or sick babies to be entitled to additional leave. Current parental leave laws are rigid, and do not offer any flexibility or extra support to those affected by a preterm birth.

Bliss is campaigning for both parents to receive an extra statutory paid week of leave for every week their baby spends in neonatal care. Family finances are frequently impacted by a preterm birth resulting in many parents, dads and partners in particular, having no choice but to return to work while their baby is still in hospital, limiting the amount of hands-on care they can provide to their baby.

Bliss Interim Chief Executive Justin Irwin says: ''After a deeply disappointing response from the Government to the recent review of parental leave provisions for parents of premature, sick or multiple babies, we are delighted that David Linden MP has decided to take matters into his own hands by bringing forward this Private Member's Bill. We are looking forward to working closely with David and supporting his Bill as it progresses.''


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