Midlothian MP backs bill to support parents of babies in neonatal care
Owen Thompson MP pledged his support for a new Bill which would ensure paid leave for parents of premature or sick babies in neonatal care.
The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill was introduced by his SNP colleague Stuart McDonald MP. The Midlothian MP attended a Parliamentary event hosted by Mr McDonald alongside Bliss, the charity for premature and sick babies.
Mr Thompson (SNP) said: ‘’I am proud to support the Neonatal Care 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 Midlothian."
Recent research by Bliss, the charity for premature and sick babies, found that 1 in 4 families 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.
Stuart McDonald topped this year’s Private Member’s Bill Ballot and introduced the Bill on June 15, 2022, with its second reading due on Friday, July 15.
Mr McDonald 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 and non-birthing parents return to work long before their babies are well enough to go home.