Disappointing government response to debate

Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley is calling on the UK Government to recognise that miscarriage is neither an illness nor a holiday. 

In a debate on paid miscarriage leave at Westminster Hall yesterday, the SNP MP was ‘disappointed’ by the response from Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets Paul Scully. 

Mr Scully was directly challenged during the debate over how ‘insulting’ it is to tell women to take annual leave following a miscarriage by Sheffield Hallam MP Olivia Blake. 

Glasgow East MP David Linden also highlighted that statutory sick pay in the UK is much lower than other European countries which creates a financial burden if parents are forced to take sick leave. 

However, there was no commitment from the UK Government to improve support for parents who experience miscarriage and to tackle the stigma associated by legislating for paid miscarriage leave. 

The debate was hosted by Angela Crawley MP who has been campaigning to give parents the right to three days of paid leave following a miscarriage. 

Commenting after the debate, Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley said: 

“This an important issue for parents across the UK so I am grateful that we were able to debate paid miscarriage leave and to all of my colleagues who contributed. 

“Unfortunately, the response from the UK Government has missed the point. It is insulting and only reinforces the stigma associated with miscarriage to tell parents to use sick leave or annual leave following a miscarriage. 

“Miscarriage is not an illness and it is most definitely not a holiday. It is a loss that can be traumatic for expectant parents. 

“Until the UK Government recognises this, parents will not have the right to take time to grieve following a miscarriage and will instead have to rely on the goodwill of their employer or resort to taking annual leave or sick leave.”