time off for dependants

Staff with premature or sick babies – Acas have just produced a new Guide for Employers to help them manage staff in this situation, called ‘Workplace support for parents with premature or sick babies’ which you can see here.

Acas say with over 95,000 premature or sick babies born each year in the UK, this guidance provides important information for employees and employers in relation to preterm births or full-term births where the baby is sick. It sets out best practice guidance for managing employees in these difficult circumstances

premature or sick babies

The contents of the Guide include:

  • What does premature birth mean?
  • Employee responsibilities – evidence of pregnancy and birth
  • Supporting the parents following the birth
  • The death of a premature or sick baby
  • Returning to work
  • Additional appointments following discharge from hospital

The NHS defines premature babies as those born before 37 weeks gestation. There are 3 sub-categories of premature babies:

Extremely preterm (before 28 weeks)
Very preterm (before 32 weeks)
Moderate to late preterm (32-37 weeks)

Some babies will be born full-term (37 weeks+) but sick. These babies may have an infection, need treatment for jaundice, or have been born with a condition which makes them sick or means that they require urgent and / or significant medical attention.