New acas guidance: Managing employees with premature or sick babies

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doctor and baby

Acas has produced new guidance for employers to help manage employees with premature or sick babies. 

An employer’s role at times like this is invaluable, but some managers find it hard to know what to do for the best to balance the needs of the new family and the needs of the business. Good communication, flexibility and understanding are key to getting it right.

The guidance covers ways to help when the baby is born as well as when the parents return to work. It includes:

  • acknowledging the birth, employers should ask the parents what they want colleagues to know.
  • offers of support (financial, food, or even a text) can really help.
  • flexibility around both parents’ working patterns wherever possible. 
  • making employees aware of statutory leave and pay entitlements, such as paternity leave and shared parental leave or workplace loans where provisions exist.
  • flexibility for hospital appointments for parents of premature babies.

Find out more in the guidance, which also covers considerations for employers, ways to help when the baby is born, as well as when the parents return to work. 

You can follow Acas on Twitter @acasorguk and use #prematurebabies to join the conversation.


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