A Glasgow MP is pressuring the government and employers to be more flexible on paternity leave for the fathers of premature children.

David Linden, MP for Glasgow East, said that having two premature children had shown him that rules on parental leave need to change.

He told the Evening Times on Monday that his daughter Jessica will spend Christmas in an oxygen mask after she was looked after for three weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit.

He will call on the government to change rules so that fathers of premature babies do not have to go back to work before their children come home.

“There are certain policies and areas that need to be looked at again,” he said.

“As a dad, I get two weeks paternity leave, but you’ve got to take that within 56 days of your child being born.

“What that means in both my cases I spent the first two weeks of my children’s life in the neonatal intensive care unit.”

“One of the things I’m looking to do now using my position in parliament is to make sure that there is more flexibility for parents whose children are born prematurely.”

Mr Linden’s two children were both born prematurely because of his wife Roslyn’s Type 1 diabetes.

“What I want to see firstly is a bit of flexibility from the UK government in terms of employment law, and secondly from employers, more flexibility from dads to take their paternity leave at different times,” he said.

Bliss Scotland, a charity which campaigns for premature babies, said it supported Mr Linden’s plans.

Helen Kirrane, spokeswoman, said: “Having a baby on a neonatal unit is a deeply distressing time for families, but it can also be very costly too, and it is impossible for many fathers and partners to take unpaid leave when their paternity leave runs out.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy was contacted for comment.