Tag Archives: Employer with Heart

BBC extends parental leave for parents of premature babies

Today the BBC have announced that they are to extend paid parental leave for staff whose babies are born premature.

The Smallest Things Founder and chair of trustees, Catriona Ogilvy, welcomed the news, saying:

“We are delighted to see the steps that the BBC are taking to support staff following premature birth and welcomed the opportunity to share our Employer with Heart charter with them earlier this year. Visiting a premature baby on a neonatal intensive care unit is a traumatic, distressing time for parents without the added worry of work and pay. It certainly shouldn’t count as parental leave. The BBC’s new policy gives parents precious time to bond with their fragile babies outside of the hospital environment and take care of them at home for longer.”

1 in 8 babies born in the UK require admission to a neonatal unit, with those born premature expected to remain in hospital the longest.

BBC Presenter Rachel Burden had her son Henry at 31 weeks weighing 3lbs:

“I’m over the moon and so grateful to all the mothers of tiny babies at the BBC who helped bring about this change. Inspired by the brilliant campaign of The Smallest Things charity – we told our stories, urged the BBC to review its own parental leave policies and they listened. It will make a huge difference to parents of premature children who face enormous stress and extra challenges in those early weeks and months. Hopefully other organisations will now be encouraged to sign up to the Employer with Heart Charter.”

Additional leave granted by the BBC, in keeping with The Smallest Things Employer with Heart charter, sees full pay extended for mothers of premature babies (born prior to 37 weeks gestation) by the number of days the baby is born before the due date. For partners, leave is extended by 2 weeks on full pay.

 The Smallest Things is a premature baby charity, established in 2014, to support the needs of families and babies beyond the neonatal unit. If you would like further information about The Smallest Things Employer with Heart Charter, or would like to ask your organisation to sign up too, please get in touch at smallestthings@yahoo.com

Tamba becomes first UK charity to be awarded ‘Employer with Heart’

We are delighted that Tamba, the Twins and Multiple Births Association, is the first charity in the UK to sign up to our Smallest Things Employer with Heart Charter, supporting the needs of families and extending paid parental leave for staff whose babies are born premature or sick.

Announcing the news, Nicky Deans, Head of Finance and Operations, explained:

“The Tamba board of trustees have agreed that mums who give birth before 37 weeks will be entitled to an additional day’s leave and pay for every day between the date baby was born and the due date. This will be classed as compassionate leave and will be calculated at the full pay rate.

“In addition, if a staff member gives birth at 37 weeks or after and the baby requires neonatal care during their first 28 days of life, we will grant additional leave and pay for every day your baby spends in neonatal care during that time. This will also be classed as compassionate leave and will be calculated at the full pay rate.”  Tamba has also updated its policy for paternity leave accordingly.

It comes at a time when the Government is conducting an internal review of the provisions for parents of premature babies and sick babies and those experiencing multiple births.

Welcoming the news, Catriona Ogilvy, founder and trustee of The Smallest Things, said:

“We are pleased that Tamba has taken this ground-breaking step of recognising and supporting families of premature babies and that it is the first charity in the UK to be awarded our ‘Employer with Heart’ accreditation.

Visiting a premature baby on a neonatal intensive care unit is a traumatic, distressing time for parents without the added worry of work and pay. It certainly shouldn’t count as parental leave. Tamba’s new policy gives parents precious time to bond with their fragile babies outside of the hospital environment and take care of them at home for longer.

We are delighted that Tamba is joining The Smallest Things in encouraging all employers to provide extended leave to parents of premature babies and working with us at Government level to hopefully see a change in policy.”

More than 315,000 people have signed the change.org petition calling on the UK government to extend paid parental leave for families affected by premature birth.

The Smallest Things is a premature baby charity, established in 2014, to support the needs of families and babies beyond the neonatal unit. If you would like further information about The Smallest Things Employer with Heart Charter, or would like to ask your organisation to sign up too, please get in touch at smallestthings@yahoo.com

South Ayrshire Council awarded Smallest Thing Employer with Heart

South Ayrshire Council gains national recognition with ‘Employer with Heart’ award

The first local authority in Scotland to provide additional support to staff whose babies need hospital care after a premature birth has been recognised by a national charity. South Ayrshire Council, which has extended paid parental leave for staff whose babies are born prematurely, has been awarded with the ‘Employer with Heart’ by premature baby charity The Smallest Things.

Changes to the Council’s Special Leave Policy entitle female employees to seven days paid leave for every week a baby is born prematurely. The additional time will be added on to the end of maternity leave, allowing mums to enjoy the quality time with their children often denied to them early on, due to the baby’s complex medical needs. Dads, partners and caregivers of premature babies at South Ayrshire Council are now entitled to two weeks’ paid additional special leave, following the birth of the baby.

Welcoming the news, Smallest Things Founder, Catriona Ogilvy, said, “We’re delighted that South Ayrshire Council has taken these steps to support staff whose babies are born prematurely and are pleased to award them our Employer with Heart. Visiting a fragile baby in a neonatal unit for weeks, sometimes months, is terrifying and shouldn’t be counted as maternity or paternity leave. This extra time will give parents the chance to bond with their babies, take care of them at home for longer and recover from the trauma themselves. We hope that councils across Scotland will follow in South Ayrshire’s footsteps.”

Councillor Peter Henderson, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Resources and Performance said, “We’re proud to have been recognised by The Smallest Things for our positive work to support staff to deal an extremely testing times following the birth of a child.

“The arrival of a premature baby comes as a major shock for families and when you’re dealing with unwanted complications which lead to health issues, depression, and higher travelling costs, the rising stress levels can quickly become overwhelming.

“Recognising this as a situation which needed to be addressed was our first step and by becoming the first Council in Scotland to make a change we’re leading by example. I’d call on other organisations to consider making a similar change and to support their staff at a time when they it the most.”

More than 250,000 people have signed a change.org petition calling upon the UK Government to extend leave for all parents affected by premature birth.

For more information about the Smallest Things Employer with Heart charter please contact us directly at smallestthings@yahoo.com

Medway NHS Trust becomes first hospital to extend leave for staff who have a premature baby

Medway NHS Foundation Trust has become the first in England to sign up to The Smallest Things ‘Employer with Heart’ Charter, pledging its commitment to support the needs of premature babies and their families.

Current NHS terms and conditions afford new mums whose baby has been born prematurely to split their maternity leave, allowing them to take two weeks leave immediately after childbirth, and the rest following their baby’s discharge from hospital.

One in eight babies are born prematurely and subsequently parents have a reduced time to bond with their baby with the period from birth, to discharge for babies born prematurely typically being several weeks, or even months.  The Trust has therefore taken the step to support new mums in this intervening period by committing to ensure they receive their normal pay up until the point that their normal maternity pay commences.

James Devine, Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development said: “We are proud to have become the first NHS Trust in the country to sign up to the Employer with Heart Charter.

“Our staff work tirelessly every day to look after our patients and we want to ensure that they also receive the support that they need when they have difficulty in their own personal lives.  We know that this will affect only a small number of our staff each year, but it is so important that we care for those who are caring for others.

“We understand that it can be an extremely difficult and worrying time for those who experience premature labour and the last thing we want is for our hardworking staff to feel they have to worry about work or whether they can afford to take time off to be with their baby”

Catriona Ogilvy, founder of The Smallest Things, said: “We are delighted that Medway NHS Foundation Trust 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. 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.”

Find out more about the charter, information for employers and employees here – The Smallest Things Employer with Heart Charter

More than 219,000 people have signed the change.org petition calling upon Government to ensure that all families have the extra time they need following premature birth

For all enquires please contact e. smallestthings@yahoo.com