Employed parents could soon have their entitlement to paid time off following the death of a child protected by law.
MPs discussed the issue as they introduced a new ‘Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill’ into Parliament today [Wednesday 19 July], which if passed into law could grant employed parents new rights following the death of a child.
Kevin Hollinrake MP who introduced 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.”
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 Member’s Bill which will introduce statutory paid bereavement leave for employed parents.”
Currently under the Employment Rights Act, employees have a right to take a “reasonable” amount of unpaid time off work to make arrangements following the death of a dependant.
What is deemed “reasonable” depends on the circumstances and can vary from employer to employer.
The details of the proposed law have not yet been settled on and will be discussed over the summer, by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy working with employers, employee representatives and campaigners, before the Bill has its second reading in the autumn.
It has not yet been confirmed whether or not the law will include parents who have lost a child during pregnancy.
Kicks Count, a charity that aims to reduce the number of stillbirths, fully supports the new Bill.
“The loss of a child is such a truly…