Sony Music UK becomes the first media company to sign up to The Smallest Things “Employers with Heart” Charter, giving paid extended leave to both mothers and fathers of babies born too soon, as well as providing psychological support on return to work.
Welcoming the news, Smallest Things Founder Catriona Ogilvy said, “We are delighted that Sony Music UK has signed up to our Employer with Heart charter and will give parents of babies born prematurely the extra time they need. Visiting a fragile baby on a neonatal unit for weeks, sometimes months, is terrifying and shouldn’t be counted as maternity or paternity leave.” She went on to say, “bringing your baby home can be difficult too, as often there are ongoing medical issues and concerns about development and immunity. This extra time will give parents more chance to bond with their babies, take care of them at home for longer and recover from the trauma themselves.”
Speaking today Paloma Faith praised the steps taken by her record label to support parents during these difficult times, stating “in that moment everything else takes a back seat and it’s wonderful that Sony Music are acknowledging that by introducing this.”
Jason Iley, Chairman and CEO, Sony Music UK & Ireland added “we always strive to be understanding and compassionate towards our employees. We appreciate that it can be an extremely difficult and worrying time for those who experience premature labour and family is of the upmost importance.”
So far, more than 200,000 people have signed a change.org petitioncalling upon government to extend leave for parents of premature babies. After meeting with The Smallest Things last year, business minister Margot James MP took up the issue announcing in the Governments Mothers Day Pledge that “mothers of premature babies should receive full backing from employers” and bringing forward new ACAS guidelines went on to say “I am confident businesses will welcome these new guidelines and act on our advice, but I will of course keep progress under review, and do not rule out legislating in the future if our advice is not heeded”.
The commitment made today by Sony Music UK will make a real difference in the lives of families who experience the trauma of premature birth and will give tiny babies the time they need to grow, develop and to bond with their parents after weeks and often months in hospital.
For all enquires or more information about the Not Mat Leave Campaign or Employers with Heart Charter, please contact Catriona Ogilvy at firstname.lastname@example.org