Under the new Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill the Uk Government will give employed parents a statutory right to bereavement leave following the death of a child.
Whilst many employers offer a great deal of flexibility in the terrible circumstances of an employee suffering the loss of a child the situation regarding unpaid leave is far from clear or uniform..
The new bill introduces legislation that provides employees with a statutory right to a two week paid bereavement period following the death of a child under the age of 18. This will apply all to all employees with 26 weeks continuous service with the employer.
Employers will be able to reclaim parental bereavement leave pay from the government, with smaller employers able to reclaim the payments in full and larger employers being able to reclaim the majority of any payments.
Kevin Hollinrake MP for Thirsk and Malton who introduced the bill said;
This new law will give employed parents a legal right to two weeks’ paid leave, giving them that all-important time and space away from work to grieve at such a desperately sad time.
Francine Bates, Chief Executive Officer of The Lullaby Trust, an organisation that works hard to promote awareness of and provide support to families who have suffered from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) commented;
We warmly welcome this new law giving paid leave to bereaved parents. Losing a child is one of the most devastating experiences that a parent can go through and it is vitally important that they are supported by their employer and not made to return to work before they are ready.
We know many bereaved parents who have campaigned tirelessly for paid compassionate leave after the death of a child and are very pleased to see that the UK is now leading the way in supporting parents who need time away from work to grieve for their child.
It is anticipated that new bill will become law during 2020.