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Bereaved parents could receive statutory paid leave

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
20/07/2017
For the first time, employed parents who experience the death of a child may be able to receive statutory paid leave to grieve as part of new Bill announced in Parliament.

Currently under the Employment Rights Act, employees have a day-one right to take a ‘reasonable’ amount of unpaid time off work to deal with an emergency involving a dependent, including making arrangements following their death.

But there is no legal requirement for employers to provide paid leave for grieving parents.

The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill will seek to offer financial support to parents. It received its first reading yesterday and a second reading is expected in October, with details of the Bill, such as the rate, to be discussed over the course of the summer.

Kevin Hollinrake MP, sponsor of the Bill, said: “This is such an important Bill for parents going through the most terrible of times. There is little any of us can do to help, but at least we can make sure that every employer will give them time to grieve.

“I have represented a number of constituents who have had to deal with the tragedy of losing a child and I am honoured to be able to do something to help parents in these desperate circumstances.”

Business Minister, Margot James, added: “The loss of a child is a traumatic experience for any parent. For parents holding down a job at the same time as dealing with their grief it can be doubly stressful.

“We want parents to get the support they need at this deeply upsetting time that is why government is supporting this Private Members Bill which will introduce statutory paid bereavement leave for employed parents.”

Mona Patel of Royal London, said: “The bereavement process doesn’t end with the funeral. It can take years. Parents grieving the loss of their child will need ongoing support from family, friends and employers. It’s important that bereaved parents have a variety of sources to help them through this difficult time.”

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