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  • Overview

    There are over 95,000 babies born prematurely in the UK every year. Currently there are no enhanced or additional maternity or paternity rights for parents of babies born early.

    If a baby is born early and maternity leave has not already started, the mother’s maternity leave starts on the day after her baby was born. Mothers are entitled to 52 weeks’ leave, made up of 26 weeks’ ordinary maternity leave and 26 weeks’ additional maternity leave in the usual way.

    While there is nothing in place for leave to last longer where babies are born early, it is important for companies to be aware of how difficult and stressful this time can be for parents and employers are now being urged to be understanding and supportive of staff who give birth to premature babies.

    This month the conciliation service ACAS published advice for employers on how to help the parents of ill or premature babies. The guidance includes:

    • being compassionate and sensitive in communicating the baby's arrival
    • acknowledging the birth - ask parents what they want colleagues to know
    • offering financial support such as loans or salary advances
    • making employees aware of statutory entitlements to leave and pay, such as paternity leave and shared parental leave
    • being flexible in giving parents time off for the baby's hospital appointments
       

    Business Minister Margot James said:

    "Working parents deserve support at work, and those who have premature babies should expect nothing less than total backing from their employers at what can be an exceptionally difficult and worrying time.

    "Most employers already treat their staff with compassion and flexibility. This guidance removes any doubt for parents about what their rights are and lets employers know how best to provide support."

    To see ACAS’ full advice you should visit www.acas.org.uk/prematurebabies

  • Related Services

    Employment Advice for Employees

    Our employment solicitors give straightforward legal advice, find proactive solutions and achieve quick results

    Maternity, paternity, adoption and flexible working

    As a parent or carer you are entitled to have time off following the birth of your child and to make a request for flexible working. Our employment lawyers can give you advice on your rights.  

    Disciplinary, grievances and performance management

    Our employment lawyers can look at your disciplinary situation objectively and advise you on the best course of action. They can advise you on what are the key issues to raise in a grievance and prepare you for a grievance, disciplinary or performance management meeting.

    Children

    An unfortunate but not uncommon side effect of relationship breakdown is that issues can arise regarding the arrangements for the care of children. We always have the best interests of the children in mind and will provide you with sensible and practical advice about what can be the most emotive of issues.

Get In Touch

By submitting an enquiry through 'get in touch' your data will only be used to contact you regarding your enquiry. If you would like to receive newsletters from Thomson Snell & Passmore please use the separate form below.

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Jargon Buster