New Bill proposes support to parents of sick or premature babies

The Bill would see parents receive paid leave if their baby spends seven consecutive days or more in hospital in the first 28 days of their life.

New Bill from SNP MP proposes support to parents of sick or premature babies in neonatal care PA Media

MPs are being urged to back a Bill that could help parents of sick and premature babies deal with “practical and financial challenges”.

The Bill, proposed by the SNP’s Stuart McDonald, has already won the support of the charity Bliss, which supports the families of babies in neonatal care.

Now he is urging MPs from all parties at Westminster to back his plans to ensure that the parents of sick and premature babies are entitled to additional paid leave.

The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill would see parents receive paid leave if their baby spends seven consecutive days or more in hospital in the first 28 days of their life.

Leave and pay would be available for the duration of this care for up to 12 weeks.

The MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East, said: “It should go without saying that no parent should find themselves having to choose between spending time with their premature or sick baby in neonatal care, or having to return to work to earn a living.

“However, this is the sad reality for many parents throughout the UK.

“With the cost-of-living crisis continuing to affect households, this Bill is vital so that parents of babies in neonatal care can get the paid leave and support they deserve.

“That is why I am urging members from across the House to help me pass and implement this Bill in 2023.

“If passed, it won’t take away the trauma of having a child in neonatal care, but it will help to relieve some of the practical and financial challenges that so many families are having to face.”