In July 2022 the government announced it was backing the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill ("Neonatal Bill"). Once introduced, each parent will be allowed to take up to 12 weeks' paid leave to spend time with their babies if they are born premature or sick and are receiving neonatal care in a hospital or other agreed care setting.
It will be available to employees from their first day of employment and will apply to parents of babies who are admitted to hospital up to the age of 28 days and who have a continuous stay in hospital of 7 full days or more. There will be some additional eligibility requirements as the government makes reference to parents meeting certain conditions regarding "minimum earnings".
Parents will be able to take this leave in addition to other leave entitlements such as maternity and paternity leave with the aim being that they can be by their baby's side at what is often a hugely stressful time.