House of Commons
Parents of premature and sick babies
EDM #284
Tabled 11 March 2020
2019-21 Session
That this House welcomes the announcement to allow employed parents of premature and sick babies to to claim up to 12 weeks Neonatal Leave and Pay; recognises the positive impact this will have for thousands of families every year; understands that over 100,000 babies are admitted to neonatal care every year leading to many parents using their maternity or paternity leave before getting them home; notes around 1 in 4 working men do not currently qualify for paternity leave; understands that this limits parental involvement in their baby's care despite this being essential for babies’ to have the best developmental outcomes; notes having a baby in neonatal care has been shown to negatively affect parents’ mental health with some studies reporting up to 40 per cent of mothers of preterm babies showing signs of post-natal depression compared to 10 per cent of mothers generally; further notes that neonatal care is expensive with parents reporting additional costs of over £280 for every week their baby is in neonatal care at a time when their household income is reduced; and calls on the Government to introduce these welcome proposals swiftly with consideration for parents who do not currently qualify for parental leave rights due to being self-employed or a worker.