Fathers: Employment

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 23rd January 2019.

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Photo of Vicky Foxcroft Vicky Foxcroft Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support working fathers whose babies have been admitted to neonatal units.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Employed fathers have a number of workplace employment rights which can be used to help care for their children or to support the other parent, subject to meeting qualifying conditions. These include Paternity Leave and Pay, Shared Parental Leave and Pay, Unpaid Parental Leave and time off for dependants. Where a child is born prematurely, fathers have the flexibility to take Paternity Leave and Pay within 8 weeks of the expected date of birth rather than within 8 weeks of the actual birth.

The Government is sympathetic towards the traumatic experiences of parents whose babies have been admitted to neonatal care units. This is why officials in the Department are currently conducting an informal review of the provisions available to parents or premature and sick babies and those experiencing multiple births, as part of the evaluation of Shared Parental Leave.

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