Extended Parental Leave Pay for parents of prematurely born and sick children in Australia

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Every parent wants to spend as much time as they can with their babies when they are born before going back to work. Unfortunately, with parents whose babies are born prematurely or who are unwell, they get less time at home with their babies as their maternity/paternity leave commences from the day their baby/babies are born. As a result these parents spend their leave in hospital and once baby is discharged they barely have much time at home with them before starting work life again. This set maternity/paternity leave is not sufficient time for these affected families and should be extended for parents with premature or sick babies.

My boys were both born prematurely and this affected myself and my husband. Our first born, Aykut, was born at 25 weeks 3 days and spent close to 6 months in hospital, as a result my husband spent his paternity leave in hospital waiting at his bedside while I spent my 18 weeks of maternity leave at hospital. Aykut wasn't even discharged from hospital yet when my leave had finished and we had to survive on one income for a long time and this put an extra amount of stress on our household as a result. This was unfair and made it hard to enjoy time with our baby at home watching them grow away from hospital and from being poked, prodded and inside an incubator.

This is why we have commenced this petition to reach out to other affected parents and to get support from everyone in order to make a difference and change the allowed time that parents of premature and sick children get when off from work, and allow them to have more home time with their babies. To enjoy their special leave time just like every other parent out there. The stressors which come along with an infant being in hospital is enough, let this not be one of them.

Please help us make a difference and put these signatures forward to someone who can help these affected parents. We would love your support and signatures :)

- Pembe & Kemal Kadir