Carmichael backs campaign for paid miscarriage leave

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has 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 today, Mr Carmichael pledged his 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 Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley, the 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.

Other countries, including New Zealand, have written similar provisions into law and in September Australia became the latest country to adopt paid miscarriage leave.

Mr Carmichael said:

“It is only fair that parents are given the time they need to properly grieve their loss. Many parents across the UK and in the isles have experienced miscarriage and too many of them have had to rely on their employer’s goodwill or take sick leave when it happens.

“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. While the Second Reading of the bill has been delayed, I hope that more progress will be made on this issue in the coming months.”

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