Following a recent policy review student nurses and midwives who were not previously entitled to paid maternity leave are now able to keep their bursaries for up to 45 weeks during pregnancy and maternity leave. This greatly overdue re-evaluation of maternity rights for student nurses has fallen short of including any provision for male student paternity leave.
As a male student nurse and new father I was deeply disappointed and offended to learn I would not receive any recognised leave following the birth of my son. In my personal situation, my partner underwent a complicated emergency caesarean section, which left her requiring constant assistance with both her needs and that of our child\'s. Any time I took off from my studies was deemed as sick leave, which as such is required to be made up in accordance with standard student nurse policy.
Having contacted both the director of nursing at my university and the NHS Student Grants Unit, I find the lack of provision for paid paternity leave under the current Bursary Scheme rules clearly inadequate and sexist. I feel that considering, as student nurses, we work a full-time 37.5 hr week we should be granted the same rights as other full-time nursing staff with regards to issues of paternity leave.
Considering the NHS\' supposed commitment to equal opportunities and family friendly policies this matter should be highlighted and addressed to rectify this blatant discrimination against male student nurses.
This petition will be forwarded to the NMC, Patricia Hewitt MP (Secretary of State for Health), the NHS Student Grants Unit, Equal Opportunities Commission and Royal College of Nursing.
If you support my efforts to initiate change please add your name below - including your position of employment.
Luke Bussey, Student Nurse, Hull University
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