Calls for Paid Sick Leave Following Miscarriage Before 24 Weeks

Angela Crawley, MP for the SNP (Scottish National Party), is calling on the government to give those who have suffered a miscarriage the legal right to three days of paid leave. Since April 2020, there has been legislation in place to offer paid parental leave to employees who experience a miscarriage after 24 weeks but no entitlement to those who face a pregnancy loss before this date. 

Crawley stated she receives “tonnes and tonnes of correspondence on this issue from fathers, from mothers and from families who have experienced miscarriages”. This led her to introduce a bill to parliament in June which states parents should receive three days paid leave after suffering a miscarriage before 24 weeks. Despite parents who currently experience this not being entitled to any time off, they often resorted to taking unpaid or sick leave, making the true cost of grief even higher. 

Sadly, whilst miscarriage is very common, it is still steeped in a societal stigma preventing in-depth discussion surrounding legislation within the government. However, in recent years, there has been more work done to help families and individuals who are struggling after suffering a miscarriage. 

The Miscarriage Association launched a campaign designed to encourage businesses to provide greater support to employees experiencing pregnancy loss. It is hoped, with more information on the subject, there will be greater compassion and care for those it has affected. 
Crawley’s bill is due to have its first full debate in December and it is hoped, if it were to go through, that it would be a piece of landmark legislation in making the workplace a more hospitable environment for those who are suffering. Although it appears Boris Johnson is not in favour of extending parental leave to those who suffer the loss of a baby before the 24 weeks mark as he failed to directly specify his assent to such a legislation.

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Rachel Keane

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October 2021
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