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Paid Neonatal Leave

Volume 691: debated on Tuesday 23 March 2021

What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on bringing forward legislative proposals to introduce paid neonatal leave. (913800)

I understand how difficult it is for parents whose newborn baby needs to spend time in neonatal care, which is why last year we set out our intention to introduce a new, generous entitlement to paid leave for those parents. We remain fully committed to doing so and will legislate as part of an employment Bill as soon as parliamentary time allows.

It has now been more than a year since the Government committed to implementing paid neonatal leave to support the parents of babies born sick or prematurely, but we are still yet to see any progress. Will the Minister confirm exactly when the Government plan to bring forward the necessary legislation to ensure that the new entitlement is available in 2023, as promised in the March 2020 Budget?

The Government remain committed to bringing forward the employment Bill as soon as parliamentary time allows. The delivery of the new entitlement to neonatal leave and pay will require changes to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’ IT payment systems to allow employers to administer statutory neonatal pay on behalf of the Government, but we are working towards that goal.