Sony Music: Extra leave for premature babies' parents

Image source, Catriona Ogilvy
Image caption,
Catriona Ogilvy spent the first months of her maternity leave at a neonatal ward hospital after her son, Samuel, was born 10 weeks early

A music giant is to give extra leave to employees who have babies which are born premature, following a campaign by a mum from Croydon.

Sony Music staff will now be entitled to full pay during the period in which a baby is born before full term.

Current law states maternity and paternity leave begins the day after birth - even if the baby is born premature.

The decision has been backed by singer Paloma Faith.

Catriona Ogilvy, founder of premature baby charity The Smallest Things, said she was liaising with other companies in a bid to get more signed up to her charter.

A petition set up by Mrs Ogilvy - who spent time in a neonatal ward after her son, Samuel, was born ten weeks early - has now gathered more than 205,000 signatures.

Her campaign led to Waltham Forest Council adopting a similar policy earlier this year.

Mrs Ogilvy said when this was featured on the Women's Hour programme it caught the attention of someone at Sony Music, who then approached then approached the company's HR department.

She said: "It is great to have such a huge company signed up, and it spurs me on to help more families, because that is who will benefit most.

"While we want more companies to sign up, the overarching aim is to change the law so all parents can access extra leave for premature babies."

Sony Music CEO Jason Iley said: "We appreciate that it can be an extremely difficult and worrying time for those who experience premature labour and family is of the upmost importance."

Advice for employers on how to support staff members with premature babies was drawn up in 2017 at the government's request.

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