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28th September 2017

ACAS guidance on supporting parents with ill or premature babies

ACAS has recently published guidance aimed at employers on how they can support members of staff who are parents with sick or premature babies.

The guidance recommends as follows:

  1. Employers should ensure that staff members are made aware of their statutory entitlements, for example, shared parental leave and paternity leave.
  2. Employers should handle communications with staff in a sensitive manner, for example ensuring that staff members are happy to be contacted and whether they want colleagues to know about their situation.
  3. Employers should be receptive to flexible working requests (for example requests to work from home, to change hours or days of work). This would likely assist the staff with attending hospital appointments for example.

The Business Minister, Margot James, has commented on the guidance, stating that parents of premature or ill babies “should expect nothing less than total backing from their employers”.

The guidance simply reinforces the statutory rights already in place for new parents and employers need to be aware of their obligations and the rights of members of staff in this position. For example, with formal flexible working requests, there are various requirements of employers in following the statutory process.

Source: Chadwick Lawrence

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