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A petition calling for career breaks for parents of sick children has nearly reached the 100,000 signatures required to trigger a debate in Parliament.
A petition calling for employers to offer career breaks for parents of seriously ill children has gained over 91,000 signatures.
The petition was started by Christina Harris from Essex whose daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia. She says she became a full-time nurse overnight. As her employer was unable to keep her job open she had to leave. She had been there fore 19 years.
She says: “Employers should be required to grant special breaks for parents in this situation enabling them to return to their jobs afterwards. Parents shouldn’t face losing their jobs on top of dealing with the possibility of losing their child.”
Christina says she has spoken to many parents in her situation who are struggling financially and she feels it is down to the Government to take action so that employers have to grant career breaks in these situations. Currently, parents can only use carer’s leave, which is one week’s unpaid leave per year.
A Government spokesman says: “The Government understands the difficulties and worry faced by parents of seriously ill children. We have no plans to introduce a right to take a career break in these circumstances.”