Only the UK Government stands in the way of paid miscarriage leave becoming a right for parents in the UK.
Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley’s Private Members’ Bill is due to have its second reading on Friday 24th March but without government support, it is unlikely to progress further through Parliament.
The SNP MP is calling on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to change tack from his predecessors and publicly back the bill and support parents who experience miscarriage.
If introduced, the Miscarriage Leave Bill would establish a statutory right of three-days paid leave for parents who experience miscarriage before 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Up to one in four pregnancies will end in miscarriage but there is currently no provision in place to support grieving parents through their loss before 24 weeks of pregnancy.
In Scotland, the Scottish Government have 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:
“24 weeks is an arbitrary cut-off point for supporting parents who experience pregnancy loss. Whether it happens after one week or 31 weeks, the loss can be equally as traumatic.
“Prime Minister Rishi Sunak must act now to close this gap in support by backing my Private Members’ Bill when it returns to the House of Commons.
“I am proud that the Scottish Government has led the way and introduced paid leave in the public sector but they do not have the powers to extend this to the private sector.
“They are unable to go further as employment law is reserved meaning thousands of parents across the UK won’t get that support without the UK government’s backing.
“Many businesses would like to support their employees further but they simply cannot afford to do so without state support.
“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.”