Miscarriage Leave Bill falls

Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley has expressed her disappointment after the UK government failed to support the Miscarriage Leave Bill.

Ms Crawley’s Private Members’ Bill was due its second reading today [Friday 24th March] but it wasn’t heard because there wasn’t enough time to debate all the bills on the order paper.

If introduced, the bill would have granted a statutory right to three days of paid leave for parents who experience miscarriage before 24 weeks of pregnancy.

As a result of the Tory government’s inaction, parents are still forced to rely on sick leave or annual leave if they are to grieve their loss.

Countries such as Australia and New Zealand have introduced paid miscarriage leave and Northern Ireland is set to do so by 2026.

In Scotland, the Scottish Government has made progressive steps by introducing paid leave for public sector workers however, as employment law is reserved to Westminster, it can’t be imposed on the private sector without UK government legislation.

Commenting, Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley said:

“It is disappointing, if unsurprising, that the UK Tory government has failed to stand up for parents who experience miscarriage and support them to grieve their loss.

“Their argument that good employers will simply give people time off just won’t wash. Most employers want to support their staff through what can be a traumatic life event but many are simply unable to do so without state support.

“Today was an opportunity wasted; one which could have seen the UK take a positive step towards ending the stigma associated with miscarriage.

“The Miscarriage Leave Bill has been supported by MPs from every party represented at Westminster as well as having huge public support with more than 40,000 people signing petitions calling for its implementation.

“I will continue to fight for parents who experience miscarriage by campaigning for the UK government to introduce a statutory right to paid miscarriage leave.

“Whilst the broken Westminster system stands in the way, it is only with the full powers of independence that Scotland can take the necessary steps to properly support parents who experience miscarriage.”