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A right to neonatal leave and pay

A new statutory right to up to 12 weeks paid time off work for parents of children who have spent at least a week in neonatal care (ie care that a baby who is born prematurely, or sick, receives in hospital) is to be introduced, the government has announced in its Response to the ‘Good Work Plan: Proposals to support families’ consultation.

neonatal baby

What are the practical implications of this?

The principal implication of this is that parents of children who have spent at least a week in neonatal care will be given a new statutory right to paid time off from work. They will generally have the right to return to the same job and will be protected from detriment and discrimination.

What is the relevant background?

In the UK about 40,000 babies who are born prematurely each year (before 37 weeks) and a further 60,000 babies who are born full term are admitted to neonatal care each year. The period when a baby is in neonatal care can be worrying and stressful for parents because those babies often have significant health or development issues that require specialist medical attention. The parents will naturally want to be with their babies, and yet may have concerns about their ability to do this and keep their jobs.

Source: LexisNexis

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