Workplace support for mothers with sick or premature babies

Pat Rowland
Pat Rowland

In an emotional grouped debate, Women’s conference #Uwomen20 heard of the trauma faced by women who have experienced miscarriage or given birth to premature or sick babies, trauma that is magnified by often unsupportive or uncaring employers and workplace policies.

Conference set out a range of measures to support women dealing with these difficult and sometimes tragic circumstances, and backed a call from Scotland for additional paid leave for women who have premature or sick babies, a sharing of good practice to inform a model policy, and plans to mark World Prematurity Day on 17 November.

Moving Scotland’s motion, Pat Rowland told of how increasingly stringent absence management policies have made it more and more difficult for parents who have premature or sick babies.

“Taking holidays or unpaid leave to bridge the gap between what is necessary and what is allowed can be a juggling match,” said Pat.

“Children are our future and we have to be given the leave needed to care for them without worrying about financial implications or losing much needed leave,” added Pat, calling for the union to gather evidence of good practice to develop a workable policy that we can all use in negotiating with our employers.

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