Scottish MP to present bill to entitle women who have stillbirth to get three paid days leave

A Scottish MP is to present a bill to the UK parliament which would change the law to ensure those who experience a miscarriage or stillbirth are given at least three days paid leave.

Angela Crawley, MP for Lanark and Hamilton East, has led the campaign to introduce paid miscarriage leave.

In a cross-party letter to the Prime Minister, she highlighted that around one in eight pregnancies will end in miscarriage, meaning thousands of women and men are “suffering profound loss without adequate time to grieve.”

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The SNP government has said it is committed to introducing three days of paid miscarriage and stillbirth leave within the public sector in Scotland - however employment law powers to introduce paid miscarriage leave in the private sector, and across the UK, remain reserved to Westminster.

If pregnancy is lost before 24 weeks, it is counted as a miscarriage, which means that parents are not entitled to maternity leave or pay.

Ms Crawley said: "Presenting my Miscarriage Leave Bill today brings us one step closer to ensuring parents get the time they need to grieve and process a miscarriage, without worrying about their finances and employment.

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“Under current rules, the only way parents can get this time off is by requesting compassionate leave - which may or may not be granted - or take annual or unpaid leave. This isn’t fair. If passed, this Bill would see the UK follow in New Zealand’s footsteps and bring in three days paid leave for anyone who has suffered a miscarriage or stillbirth in the UK.”

She added: "The SNP is committed to introducing three days of paid miscarriage leave within the public sector in Scotland - but while employment law remains reserved to Westminster, only the UK government has the power to make this change in the private sector and across the UK.

“Parents shouldn't have to wait for Westminster to act. I hope the UK government will back my bill and make this important change to the law - or, at the very least, devolve the powers to the Scottish Parliament so we can introduce it ourselves in Scotland."

In New Zealand, legislation has been approved to give women entitlement to paid leave, no matter at what stage a pregnancy occurs.

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