Helping parents of premature or sick babies
According to Acas more than 95,000 premature or sick babies are born in the UK every year. The organisation has published best practice guidance for employers on supporting employees who become parents in these difficult circumstances.
The theme of the guidance is support and compassion, which employers could demonstrate by, for example:
- communicating with the employee, but doing so with care. Do acknowledge the birth. And check whether or not the employee would like you to let colleagues know about the situation.
- being flexible when it comes to a father, or the partner of the mother, taking time off. Remind them of their right to take parental leave, paternity leave, or special leave.
- helping the employee in the event of a bereavement (Acas has a specific guidance note on this: http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/7/a/Managing-bereavement-in-the-workplace-a-good-practice-guide.pdf)
- trying to ease the pressure on parents on their return to work by offering contractual benefits or allowing extended leave. Special leave, unpaid parental leave, and informal or formal flexible working arrangements are examples.
The Acas guidance can be found here. Link to – (http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=6049)