NEWS STORY

Campaign success: Parents of premature and sick babies to get extra support

Last week, the campaign for proper paid leave for the parents of premature and sick babies cleared its final major hurdle and looks certain to be a success.

If you follow my work you'll know that this is something I have campaigned for since I was first elected back in 2017, working closely with charities such as Bliss and The Smallest Things as well as setting up the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Premature and Sick Babies.

When my colleague Stuart McDonald MP was successful in a parliamentary ballot which ensured him time in the House of Commons to progress any legislation, I asked him to take on this very worthy cause and was delighted when he did just that.

Stuart's Bill cleared its final stage in the House of Commons on Friday and now looks almost certain to become law once it goes through the House of Lords.

When it comes into force, the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill will ensure that parents with a baby born premature or sick and in need of neonatal intensive care will get a little bit of extra support and won't be forced to go back to work while their child needs them.

To say I'm delighted is an understatement. This has been a long time coming and is the result of the dogged determination of campaigners over a number of years.

On Friday, I spoke with BBC Radio Scotland about my own experiences and the difference this new law will make to thousands of parents every year.