EMPLOYERS are being urged to offer support to workers who give birth to premature or ill babies.

The conciliation service Acas has urged employers to be flexible in giving time off to parents so they can attend hospital appointments.

The new advice also includes asking parents what information about their families’ circumstances they wish to be shared with their work colleagues.

Acas chief executive Anne Sharp said: “There are over 95,000 premature or sick babies born each year in the UK. For their families this is an emotional and difficult time.

“Working parents in these circumstances often find themselves trying to handle the demands of their job, caring for their newborn and looking after other family members.

“Our new advice helps explain the law within this complicated area in a way that will help employers support working parents whilst taking account of the needs of their business.”