‘Parents experiencing miscarriage should be able to grieve their loss’
Yesterday I signed up to the campaign to introduce paid leave for families who experience a miscarriage before 24 weeks.
Ahead of the second reading of the Miscarriage Leave Bill tomorrow (Friday, December 3), I pledged my support to ensure parents who experience miscarriage, are able to properly grieve their loss.
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.
As a result, families across the country are forced to rely on their employer’s good will or sick leave to allow them to grieve their loss.
Introduced by my SNP Westminster colleague, Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley, the private members’ bill would see three days of paid leave introduced for parents who experience a miscarriage before 24 weeks if passed.
A petition calling for the UK Government to support the campaign has received 25,000 signatures and MPs from all parties have backed the bill.
“The UK has the opportunity with this bill to close the gap in support for families who experience miscarriage and to finally end the stigma associated with miscarriage”Brendan O’Hara MP
Many parents have spoken of the stigma associated with miscarriage and this bill would finally close the gap in support.
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 at the event in the House of Commons, I said:
“I will be supporting the Miscarriage Leave Bill as it is only fair that parents are given the time they need to properly grieve their loss.
“I know many parents in Argyll & Bute have experienced miscarriage and too many of them have had to rely on their employer’s good will or take sick leave when it happens. I am grateful to all of my constituents who have been in touch asking me to support this campaign.
“Miscarriage is no one’s fault yet the stigma associated can often put parents in a position where they are unable to properly grieve their loss.”
He added: “The UK has the opportunity with this bill to close the gap in support for families who experience miscarriage and to finally end the stigma associated with miscarriage.”