ACAS publishes guidance on supporting parents with ill or premature babies

Published on: 15/09/2017

#Family friendly

ACAS has published guidance providing important information for both employees and employers in relation to premature births or full-term births where a child is ill.

More than 95,000 premature or sick babies are born each year in the UK. This guidance aims to provide advice on the best way these complex and sensitive issues can be managed in the workplace and covers topics including supporting parents following the birth, how to communicate with an employee who has lost a premature or sick baby and how the parents’ return to work should be managed.

The recommendations for employers include:

  • Ensuring that staff are aware of their statutory entitlements, including shared parental and paternity leave;
  • Handling communications sensitively- ensuring staff are being contacted and are comfortable with colleagues knowing about their situation; and
  • Being receptive to flexible working requests (including flexitime, part-time working and homeworking) as the baby may need follow up appointments or their partner may need additional support throughout this difficult time.

This helpful guidance will be welcomed by both employees and employers who find themselves in such sensitive circumstances. For further information or guidance, please contact our employment team.


This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking professional and legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.