“Imagine for a second the horror,” Stoke-on-Trent Baroness tells House of Lords

Working fathers who lose their partners during childbirth will be given the right to paternity leave on the first day, as a loophole in the law will be closed.

The Paternity Leave (Bereavement Leave) Act provides leave to the partner of a mother who has died, without the need for a continuity test, in England, Wales and Scotland.

Aaron Hornsey, who was not entitled to paternity leave after his wife Bernadette died giving birth to their son Tim, watched as colleagues debated the bill.

The Private Members’ Bill, which has already passed the House of Commons and has support from both the Government and the Opposition, has now passed its second reading in the House of Lords.

Labor peer Baroness Anderson of Stoke-on-Trent, who sponsored the Bill in the Lords, said: “Imagine for a second the horror – a mother dies in childbirth, her partner is left alone with a newborn…

“The sadness, the pain and the fear are unimaginable. You know that your only responsibility now is to the baby you hold as you try to carry on, just for him or her.

“But there are funerals to arrange, grief to try to process, if that’s even possible, paperwork to tackle and some sort of plan to build about how you’re going to raise your new child without love and support from your partner.

“Everything takes time and work is the last thing on your mind – until you realize that because you started a new job in the last four months, you are not entitled to extended paternity leave.

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