Maternity and Paternity Leave: Childbirth

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 24th January 2019.

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Photo of Rachel Reeves Rachel Reeves Chair, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has to bring forward legislative proposals to ensure that parents whose babies are born prematurely are allowed an extra week of statutory maternity or paternity leave for every week their child spends in hospital before they are allowed to go home.

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

The Department is conducting a short, focussed internal review of the provisions for parents of premature babies and sick babies and those that experience multiple births. The purpose of this work is to obtain a high-level understanding of the barriers to participating in the labour market that these parents can face. It would not be appropriate to announce future policy without first establishing an appropriate evidence base.

BEIS officials are working with organisations who represent the interests of these parents (The Smallest Things, Bliss, and TAMBA) to better understand the issues that parents can face and have also held focus groups with a small number of parents themselves.This will inform our policy consideration.

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