The Government currently has no plans to look at the impact of having a premature baby on the mother’s attachment to the labour market. We will, however, consider the issues facing families with babies admitted to neonatal care within the context of the review of changes to employment law enacted by the Children and Families Act after 2018 – in particular the take up of shared parental leave and pay.
The new system of shared parental leave and pay will give parents much more flexibility in the first year following their child’s birth. This flexibility will be particularly valuable to parents who have to deal with difficult or unexpected circumstances and it will allow parents, for the first time, to take leave together in a way that suits them. The system will be available for working parents whose baby is due on or after 5 April 2015 (irrespective of when the baby is born), and will be introduced later this year so that it catches babies who are born early.