Blood donors in Scotland 'should get paid leave'

image captionMost major donor centres are already open in the evenings and at weekends

Workers should be given paid time off to give blood, a Labour MSP has said.

Employers are not required to give staff time off to give blood but Highland MSP Rhoda Grant believes the incentive will boost stocks.

The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service is calling for 190,000 more donors to secure future blood stocks.

It has also appealed for new donors to help maintain supplies, which have been affected by recent wintry conditions, over the New Year period.

The transfusion service said it managed to maintain supplies to hospitals over Christmas in spite of the cold weather, but many donor clinics in rural areas were badly affected.

Ms Grant, who sits on the Holyrood health committee, said: "I am proud to be a regular blood donor, and it is particularly important to maintain supplies during the cold weather.

"Scotland has a record of generosity we should feel proud of and giving blood at Christmas was a gift that could save a life.

"I want to encourage every Scot who has not already done so to register to give blood. To help achieve this I believe that employees should have the right to paid time off work to donate blood."

'Enough legislation'

However, Garry Clark, head of policy at the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said he believed any moves to force employers to give staff blood leave through legislation would be misguided.

He said: "Giving blood is certainly a good thing to do and we would encourage employers to be as fair as possible with staff, but I don't think it's an area where political parties should get involved.

"There's enough employment legislation out there."

Most major donor centres in Scotland are currently open until 1930 GMT midweek and also at weekends.

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