July 31, 2019
PM calls for greater equality in parental leave
Ex Prime Minister Theresa May launched a consultation calling for views on changes to parental leave entitlements to ensure they better reflect our modern society and the desire to share childcare more equally.
It sets out how the Government is looking to introduce a new Neonatal Leave and Pay entitlement for parents of premature and sick babies who need to spend a prolonged period in neonatal care following birth.
Parents would receive one week of neonatal leave and pay for every week that their baby is in hospital. This would be available to mothers, fathers and partners.
The entitlement would mean that fathers and partners would no longer need to rely on taking annual and unpaid leave if their child is in hospital for longer than their paternity leave period. It would also provide them with additional time at home with their child to make up for the time spent in hospital.
For fathers and partners, typically their whole two weeks of paternity leave is spent with the mother and baby in hospital. Where a baby is kept in neonatal care for longer than two weeks, a Bliss survey found that around 36% of fathers and partners were signed off sick while their baby was in neonatal care.