A bill to allow mothers to suspend their maternity leave if their child is hospitalised and in an incubator was discussed by MPs on Tuesday.

The House labour committee was briefed on the legislation, which seeks to permit mothers to pause a part or the whole of their maternity leave for as long as their child is in hospital.

The conditions would be if the child is premature or facing any other health issue that means they are in an incubator, meaning parents have restricted access.

Mothers would then be allowed to resume their maternity leave after their child was allowed to leave the hospital, according to the planned provisions of the bill.

Depa MP Marinos Mousiouttas, who proposed the matter, said under the current legislation, if a baby is in hospital for three weeks a mother is allowed an additional one week to their maternity leave.

“We believe this should be re-examined because unfortunately there is an increase in incidents of children that are forced to stay in hospital longer for different reasons.”