Carnival UK are pleased to share that improvements have been made to both their shoreside maternity and paternity leave policies. Working with ‘The smallest things’ a charity that campaigns for additional leave for parents of premature babies Carnival UK have introduced enhanced leave for both mothers and fathers of premature babies. What’s more, The smallest things have recently granted Carnival UK with ‘Employer with Heart’ status, and will be promoting us and our changes in their charity work and on their website!

These changes mean that mothers of premature babies that work ashore can be reassured they will have additional time to spend with their baby after leaving hospital, and fathers can enjoy time with their baby from birth and when they return home.

Charlotte Green, Analyst-Projects has given us her view on why this is such a positive change for the company to have made considering her own experience:

“In 2016, I unexpectedly gave birth to my daughter, Amelia, 10 weeks early, and she weighed just 3lb 3oz. This was of course a huge shock to myself and my husband. Amelia spent the next 6 weeks in hospital and I wasn’t able to hold her until she was 3 weeks old. My maternity leave started the day after Amelia was born, I had planned to have 9 months off as maternity leave, which I did, but Amelia was only home for 7.5 of those months. My husband chose to take his paternity leave when Amelia came home from hospital, which meant that he had to return to work 3 days after Amelia was born. 

I am extremely proud that Carnival UK have taken the opportunity to make this change which will help future parents who find themselves in this situation. If the company I worked for when Amelia was born had this policy, it would have made a big difference to us at a very stressful time. Being able to have the additional time with Amelia once she returned home would have meant that we could have spent more of her precious first year together, and I am glad that other parents of premature babies will have this opportunity.”

Lisa Harrod, Director People Support Services has also given us her view following the premature birth of her twins and how this is such a positive change for her:

“When our twin babies arrived 9 weeks premature, I hadn’t even finished work and gone on maternity leave!  We spent the first 4 weeks of their lives visiting them in the special care units of Poole and Salisbury Hospital; it certainly wasn’t the start to their tiny little lives that we had imagined.  

12 months off for maternity leave feels like a long time but this time flies and it soon became apparent that I could be spending the first few months going back and forth to the hospital; eating up that precious time off that I had planned to be spending with them.  

Fortunately for us, our little fighters were out of special care within 4 weeks.  During that time, I’d heard that we were potentially going to be introducing a policy change at Carnival UK, which provided greater support to parents of premature babies.  When I found out that the policy change was going ahead, it was one less thing to be worrying about.  When babies arrive it is always a little chaotic but when they arrive super early, your head can get in a bit of a spin!  Anything to relieve that pressure gets the thumbs up from me and I think it is great that we, as an organisation, recognise this and are able to give a little bit of extra financial support and flexibility to mums and dads of premature babies.”

To find out more about the changes visit The Bridge > Ask HR > Shore HR

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