Support for paid miscarriage leave

MPs from every corner of the UK have backed Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley’s campaign to introduce paid leave for families who experience a miscarriage before 24 weeks.

In total, 53 MPs have signed a cross-party letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling on the UK Government to support the campaign – including representatives from nine parties as well as independent MPs.

Next month, SNP MP Angela Crawley’s private members’ bill to introduce three days of paid leave for parents who experience a miscarriage before 24 weeks of pregnancy will receive its second reading in the House of Commons.

One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, however, under current legislation, workers are only entitled to paid bereavement leave following a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

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 and in September Australia became the latest country to adopt paid miscarriage leave.

Commenting, Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley said:

“There is a clear consensus across the House of Commons that parents who experience a miscarriage should be entitled to paid leave so that they can grieve their loss.

“Every single party has backed my private members’ bill and MPs from across the chamber have joined me in writing to the Prime Minister to secure the UK Government’s support.

“I’ve received tonnes and tonnes of correspondence on this issue from people who have experienced miscarriage and they have outlined that, in most cases, there was a degree of stigma or shame to experiencing a miscarriage.

“Miscarriage is not an illness, it is a loss that can be traumatic for expectant parents so it is unfair to expect those grieving to rely on either their employer’s good will or sick leave.

“By supporting my bill, the UK Government can provide the support grieving parents need and together we can finally end the stigma associated with miscarriage.”