Council pledges additional support for staff giving birth to premature babies

Suffolk County Council passed the premature babies motion at its full council meeting Picture: ARCHA

Suffolk County Council passed the premature babies motion at its full council meeting Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: ARCHANT

Additional maternity and paternity leave has been pledged for Suffolk County Council staff following the birth of a premature baby.

The Labour group put forward the motion at the full council meeting on Thursday, December 6, which will allow parents who work at the council to extend their paternity or maternity leave by the number of days their baby was born prior to their due date.

The motion was put forward by councillor Kim Clements, whose own child was born prematurely (before 37 weeks).

She said: “I am delighted that this council has taken on board the issues this motion raises. There are just a handful of people that this affects, but the impact that these issues have is enormous.

“Parents should not have to chose between their children and work and this motion promises to do this.”

Ms Clements pointed to the difficulties parents of premature babies had, including childcare costs for any existing youngsters, long daily journeys to specialist units in Norwich and Cambridge, and other financial burdens such as hospital parking and canteen meals.

The step comes as part of the Smallest Things scheme – a national cause which supports parents through this difficult time – and is alrady supported by various other councils and organisations across the country.

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Further work will now take place with the council’s staff partnership board and HR department to ensure the changes are processed.

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