Jarrow MP backs campaign to introduce paid leave for families who experience miscarriage before 24 weeks

The MP for Jarrow has thrown her weight behind a legislative campaign to extend paid leave protection for families experiencing miscarriage at an earlier stage of pregnancy.

Sunday, 21st November 2021, 1:31 pm

Kate Osborne has announced her support for the campaign to introduce paid leave for families who experience a miscarriage before 24 weeks.

As many as one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. But, under current legislation, workers are only entitled to paid bereavement leave following a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

As a result, families across the country are forced to rely on their employer’s good will or sick leave to afford them space to grieve for their loss.

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Kate Osborne, the MP for Jarrow

Next month, a private members’ bill introduced by Lanark and Hamilton East MP, Angela Crawley, which would see three days of paid leave for parents who experience a miscarriage before 24 weeks, will receive its second reading in the House of Commons.

A petition has been launched calling for the UK Government to support the campaign and MPs from all parties have backed the proposed bill.

Many parents have spoken of the stigma associated with miscarriage and advocates of the legislation believe it would help close the current gap in support.

Some companies have already gone further than the bill proposes and offer paid leave for between seven and 14 days for people who experience a miscarriage at any stage of the pregnancy.

Other countries, including New Zealand, have written similar provisions into law. In September, Australia became the latest country to adopt paid miscarriage leave.

Commenting, Ms Osborne said: “I know many parents in the Jarrow constituency have experienced miscarriage and too many of them have to rely on their employer’s good will or take sick leave when it happens.

“Miscarriage is no one’s fault yet the stigma associated can often put parents in a position where they are unable to properly grieve their loss.

“Countries like Australia and New Zealand have already taken the progressive step to ensure all parents affected by miscarriage are entitled to paid leave.

“It is time that the UK followed in their footsteps and I will be supporting this bill to provide the support grieving parents need and finally end the stigma associated with miscarriage.”

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