Steve welcomes Government support for mothers of premature babies
Croydon North MP Steve Reed has welcomed the Government’s first steps to support mothers of premature babies following legislation he introduced in the House of Commons.
Employment Minister Margot James has announced plans to publish guidelines for employers on how to support their staff in the event of a premature birth.
Steve introduced the Maternity and Paternity Leave (Premature Birth) Bill in October last year. The bill proposed a change in the law to extend maternity and paternity leave for parents of premature babies, and had the support of MPs from all political parties.
The bill followed a campaign launched by Steve’s constituent Catriona Ogilvy. Catriona’s campaign, The Smallest Things, attracted nearly 130,000 signatures on an online petition calling for change.
Steve Reed MP said:
This is a very welcome first step from the Government, and I’m delighted that charities will be given a say in how the guidelines are drawn.
Having a premature baby is one of the most traumatic experiences that any parent can go through. Although we shouldn’t rule out future changes to the law, these guidelines should help employers support their staff and bring a serious improvement to the lives of thousands of new parents.
Steven Reed is Labour MP for Croydon North and Shadow Minister for Children and Families. In 2018 his private member’s bill on reducing violent mental health restraint became law. In June 2019 he launched Labour’s civil society strategy outlining radical plans to empower citizens and communities.
Steve chairs the Cooperative Councils Innovation Network, co-chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for London, was Leader of Lambeth Council 2006-12 where he led the council’s children’s services to become best-rated in the country and pioneered the public-health approach to tackling violent youth crime. He worked in publishing for 16 years and was an elected trade union branch secretary.