Thursday, 29 November 2018 07:30



SNP MP David Linden has secured a meeting with a UK government Minister to discuss his campaign to improve paternity leave for families with a premature baby.

The Glasgow East MP is the father of two children who were born prematurely, and is calling on the UK government to review parental leave for families whose child is born early, and improve the provision and flexibility of parental leave in these circumstances. 

In a question to the Prime Minister today, the SNP MP outlined his personal experience as a father of premature children, and the lack of support that current laws on paternity leave allow. In response, Theresa May made a commitment that a UK government minister would meet with David Linden, and the premature baby charity Bliss, to discuss his campaign. 

At present, paternity law only allows a father to take two weeks leave, which has to be within 56 days of their child’s birth. The SNP MP is campaigning to extend the 56-day time limit and introduce greater flexibility around paternal leave in the circumstances of a premature baby.

Commenting, David Linden MP said:

“I'm glad the Prime Minister made a personal commitment that the UK government will meet to discuss my campaign to improve parental leave for families with a premature baby.

"Thousands of families across Scotland and the UK are affected by premature births every year - but the current law on parental leave is letting these families down at their time of need.

"It is vital that the UK government conducts a full review of parental leave for parents whose child is born early, extends the 56-day limit on paternity leave, and introduces greater flexibility in leave for parents of premature babies.

“After two very complex pregnancies, both my son and then my daughter were born prematurely and spent the early weeks of their lives in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. My two weeks paternity leave was spent in intensive care, and the lack of flexibility for paternity leave is a concern to many new parents who have a premature baby.

“My family owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the NHS Neonatal staff who looked after Isaac and Jessica. I am hopeful that if the UK government listens to the concerns of families with premature babies, and commits to reviewing and improving parental leave, then we can give more support to these families at such an important time."

David Linden's question to the Prime Minister can be viewed here:

‘New dad Glasgow MP is pushing for paternity rights reform’ -

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