Call for three days' paid leave from work for parents grieving after a miscarriage

A campaign is under way to introduce paid leave for parents who suffer a miscarriage.

SNP MP Angela Crawley is introducing a private member's bill that seeks to grant three days of statutory paid leave to parents who experience a miscarriage before 24 weeks of pregnancy.

And she has called on fellow MPs to back her.

An estimated one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, but paid bereavement leave is only provided following stillbirth after 24 weeks.

The bill unanimously passed its first Westminster reading in July, but Lanark and Hamilton East MP Ms Crawley said it was talked out by Conservative MPs before its second reading.

A petition was signed by 40,000 people in support of the bill and Ms Crawley said it has received backing from all parties.

The Scottish government provides paid leave for public sector workers who have experienced miscarriage.

Ms Crawley said: "My bill has support from every party in the House of Commons, the only thing it needs now is the support of the UK government."

Grieving parents 'deserve support'

She said she was urging Tory ministers "to do the right thing".

"Parents who experience a miscarriage or stillbirth at any stage of their pregnancy deserve to be properly supported and given the time they may need to grieve and process their loss, without worrying about a hit to finances or taking annual leave.

"The SNP Scottish government has already done this where they have the power. It offers three days' paid leave for parents working in the public sector who suffer miscarriage before 24 weeks.

"However, as employment law remains reserved to Westminster, it can't be implemented across the board without UK legislation.

"People working in the private sector in Scotland shouldn't have to wait for Westminster to act. It must back my bill or devolve the powers to Scotland, so we can make that positive change."

Miscarriage is 'a very personal experience'

A UK government spokesperson said: "The government recognises that losing a child at any stage is incredibly difficult and we expect employers to respond with compassion and understanding.

"Miscarriage is a very personal experience and some of those affected may want to stay at home, whilst others may prefer to continue to work or alternatively may need time off later.

"The government believes that individuals are best placed to understand their own specific needs, and good employers will respond to requests made by their employees in a sensitive way."