Extended Leave: Digital media agency supports parents of premature babies

Digital media agency Clock, which employs around 40 people, has pledged its commitment to supporting the unique needs of premature babies and their families by extending parental leave for employees who give birth early.

Female employees of Clock who give birth prior to 37 weeks’ gestation will be granted extended
maternity leave at full pay by the number of days their baby was born early. Fathers and partners will receive an extra two weeks’ leave in addition to their paternity leave.

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

“We are delighted that Clock has signed up to our Employer with Heart charter and will give parents of babies born premature 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.”

Clock joins a growing list of Employers with Heart who are supporting The Smallest Things campaign to extend paid parental leave for staff whose babies are born premature.

Rob Arnold, MD of Clock, said:

“Parents facing the worry and uncertainty of visiting their premature baby in hospital should not spend that time as maternity or paternity leave. We understand that premature babies need more time; time to develop, time to grow and time for parents and babies to bond at home after neonatal intensive care.”

More than 330,000 people have signed a change.org petition calling on Government to extend paid parental leave for mums and dads of premature babies and The Smallest Things continue to urge Government to make this change, so that all families have the time they need during and after neonatal intensive care.

Nina Gilbert, Head of Client Services at Clock, explains why this policy change means so much to her:

“As a parent to a baby born at just 23 weeks and weighing only 420 grams, I have first-hand
experience of what it’s like to have your world turned upside down following the birth of a premature baby. I spent six months in hospital with my son, Harrison, and went through a great many ups and downs on the NICU rollercoaster. The additional financial strain this experience puts on a family should not be something else for parents to worry about, so I am extremely proud that my employer, Clock, have now agreed to sign up to the ‘Employer with Heart’ charter to support other parents who may find themselves in this situation in the future.”

More and more employers are making this change.

For information about the Smallest Things Employer with Heart charter and how to sign up click here.

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