A new survey shows 66% of dads feel forced to return to work when their premature babies are still in neonatal care.
Two thirds of fathers of premature and sick babies says they have felt under pressure to return to work while their child was still receiving neonatal care, according to a survey by the charity Bliss and Radio 5 Live Investigates.
The survey of 737 parents found 77% said they were not given enough time off. One in 10 had to leave their job as a result of their baby’s stay in hospital.
Parents also said that while some employers were sympathetic, others refused to grant more time.
The government is conducting an internal review into legislation around parents of premature and sick babies and multiple births.
Meanwhile, University College Hospital London has become the first London hospital to introduce extra support and paid leave to staff whose babies are born prematurely or need extra special care.
Catriona Ogilvy, founder of the Smallest Thing charity, said: “We are delighted that UCLH have taken these step towards supporting staff whose babies are born premature of poorly. They are leading the way alongside other London employers, such as the Mayor Sadiq Khan and Sony Music UK, and we hope that other London hospitals follow in their example too. Visiting a baby in neonatal intensive care is an uncertain and traumatic time for families and it is right that parents are given the additional paid leave to fully recover and bond with their baby once at home.”