Justin Tomlinson MP for North Swindon attended a Parliamentary event on 6 July 2022, hosted by Stuart McDonald MP and the UK’s leading charity for premature and sick babies, Bliss, to pledge their support the introduction of the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill.
The Bill was introduced to Parliament on 15 June 2022 by SNP MP Stuart McDonald, and the second reading of the Bill is on July 15 2022. Stuart, who topped this year’s Private Member’s Bill Ballot and introduced the Bill on June 15 2022, said, “No parent should have to choose between being with their premature or sick baby in neonatal care and having to go back to work to earn a living.
"With the cost-of-living soaring, it is more important than ever that we secure an urgent change in the law so that parents of babies in neonatal care get the paid leave and support they need at an incredibly challenging time.”
The lack of extra maternity and paternity leave entitlement when a baby is born premature or sick means that many parents have to return to work while their babies are in hospital. With only two weeks of paternity leave available, many fathers return to work long before their babies are well enough to go home.
Justin Tomlinson MP said ‘’I am proud to support the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill. If this becomes law, tens of thousands of families with a baby in neonatal care will benefit from extra leave and pay at the time they need it most, including families across North Swindon’’
Recent Bliss research found that 1 in 4 families surveyed had to borrow money or increase their debt due to their baby’s neonatal stay. As household and living costs are rising, the pressure on families with a sick baby in hospital is increasing, making it even more important that MPs pledge their support now.
Bliss Chief Executive, Caroline Lee-Davey said: “We are thrilled that Stuart has introduced the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill as his Private Member’s Bill. The current law doesn’t work for families, but it also doesn’t work for employers who find it hard to support their staff when their worlds are turned upside down by neonatal care.