'Parents have a right to care' says Local MP

November 1, 2007 3:14 PM
CLIC sargent

Mark Hunter is backing the 'Parents have a right to care' campaign by CLIC Sargent

Mark Hunter, MP for Cheadle, has today backed a campaign by leading children's charity, CLIC Sargent and signed an Early Day Motion in Parliament calling for parents of children with cancer to have the right to care. Mr Hunter, who is concerned about the rights of parents across his Cheadle constituency has teamed up with the charity to push for the full package of rights to; paid time off, career breaks and flexible working that these parents so desperately need if their child is diagnosed with cancer.

CLIC Sargent has found that parents across the UK are struggling to balance work with caring for a child with cancer. The charity's study, from December 2006, revealed that 91% of UK families surveyed had to change their working patterns when their child was diagnosed with cancer, with 49% using their own holiday allowance or sick leave to care for their child. In many cases, one or both parents lost out on career opportunities, and in some cases, even lost their jobs completely.

Speaking on this issue Mr Hunter said "Parents can expect leave and relevant pay when their child is first born, but these same rights are not available when their child needs it most. Parents in the local area should have a right to care and therefore I'm backing CLIC Sargent's campaign, calling for parents of children with cancer to receive the full workplace right they really need.

A diagnosis of cancer is extremely traumatic for a child and his or her family - to say nothing of the additional financial stress that goes with it. Travel to specialist hospitals, accommodation, food, clothes and childcare for the other children all add up to increased debt for many families. At this time, a family needs the fully support of their employer."

Dr Carole Easton, Chief Executive of CLIC Sargent said: "As the UK's leading children's cancer charity we firmly believe that parents should not have to make the choice between caring for their child and the financial well-being of their family. Earlier this year we introduced out own carers policy enabling those with caring commitments to take emergency leave, planned carers leave or career breaks depending on their needs. And we now urge other employers and the Government to ensure that a range of options are available to parents in a caring role."

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