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GB Neonatal Leave and Pay


On 15 July 2022, the government confirmed that it would bring into force the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill, which has been introduced by way of a Private Members’ Bill.

Under the Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament, neonatal care leave will apply to parents of babies who are admitted into hospital up to the age of 28 days, and who have a continuous stay in hospital of seven full days or more.

The Bill will allow parents up to 12 weeks of paid leave, in addition to their maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, shared parental leave, parental leave and parental bereavement leave if their baby has been born prematurely or sick, and is receiving neonatal care in a hospital or other agreed care setting.

Neonatal Care Leave will be available to employees from their first day at work. However, it will only be paid if the parents meet certain conditions. This includes having 26 weeks’ continuous service and normal weekly earnings for the period of 8 weeks, ending with the relevant week, being not less than the lower earnings limit in force.

The Bill, should it receive Royal Assent, will be a huge boost for parents across GB whose babies require specialist care after birth. The position in NI remains to be seen as the substantive part of the Bill does not extend to Northern Ireland. Employment law is a devolved matter in NI so it will be interesting to see if NI will adopt similar laws going forward.