Scottish MP Angela Crawley has called on the Conservatives to help her Bill extending miscarriage leave get through Parliament.
An SNP MP is calling on her fellow MPs to back the passage of her Private Member’s Bill on extending miscarriage leave to earlier in pregnancy.
Angela Crawley has been battling to get her Bill to extend paid parental leave for miscarriage to the period before the 24th week through Parliament. The policy would allow women who have miscarried and their partner to have up to three days of paid leave.
More than one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage, and probably around a quarter of a million happen in the UK each year, according to the Miscarriage Association. Although the majority of miscarriages happen in the first three months (13 weeks) of pregnancy, they can happen up to the 24th week. However, the UK does not currently offer paid leave to those workers affected by a miscarriage in that period.
However, parents can get up to two weeks of paid leave – at the statutory rate of £156.66 per week or 90% of their average earnings if that is less – for the loss of a baby after 24 weeks under legislation introduced by the government in April 2020.
In September 2021 Crawley called on Parliament to extend paid parental leave for miscarriage. Her Bill passed unanimously at its first reading last summer, but has since been talked out twice by Conservative MPs when it came to the second reading.
This week she pleaded with Conservative MPs to get behind in the Bill to ensure parents who experience a miscarriage or stillbirth at any stage of their pregnancy are supported and given the time they may need to grieve and process their loss without worrying about the impact on their finances or having to eat into their annual leave. She added that if they could not support it, it should be devolved so that Scotland can implement the policy unilaterally.
Back in 2021, Crawley said: “I think often, sadly, this is seen as a women’s issue and there’s a stigma and shame attached to the experience of miscarriage and I do not believe that should be the case in this day and age. This is an issue that affects both parents when they undergo that loss and to have the right to grieve and the right to have that paid and recognised by their employer is an important milestone.”