A London Council has become the first employer to offer enhanced leave to parents who have a premature baby.

Waltham Forest council is introducing an extra week’s maternity and paternity leave for every week that parents of premature babies spend in hospital waiting for their child to be allowed home.  The Council is encouraging all its contractors and partners to do the same.

This follows a call by the charity Smallest Things Campaign which launched a petition calling for enhanced rights for parents of premature babies that attracted 140,000 signatures. A Bill seeking to change legislation is expected to have its second reading in Parliament in the spring. The Council estimates that of its 109 staff currently on maternity or paternity leave, about 13 or 14 would have benefitted from the scheme.



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