Paid time off demand for blood donors

Staff should be given paid time off to donate blood, a Labour MSP has demanded.

There is currently no requirement on employers to give staff time off to give blood, at a time when the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service is calling for 190,000 additional donors to secure stocks into the future.

While most major donor centres in Scotland open until 7:30pm midweek and at also at weekends, Highland MSP Rhoda Grant believes the additional incentive of paid leave will push blood stocks up.

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Ms Grant, who sits on the Holyrood health committee, said: "I am proud to be a regular blood donor, and it is particularly important to maintain supplies during the cold weather.

"Scotland has a record of generosity we should feel proud of and giving blood at Christmas was a gift that could save a life.

"I want to encourage every Scot who has not already done so to register to give blood. To help achieve this I believe that employees should have the right to paid time off work to donate blood."

However, Garry Clark, head of policy at the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said any moves to force employers to give staff blood leave through legislation would be "misguided".