Royal Stamp of Approval for Parental Bereavement Leave
There can be few worse life experiences than the loss of a child and while most employers treat their staff with dignity and compassion when this tragedy occurs, all too often there are stories of grieving parents being forced back to work too early.
Many brave parents who have spoken out about their own experiences and have been campaigning for legal entitlement, some for nearly 10 years, found out on September 13th 2018 that the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill passed it’s final stage and was given Royal Ascent in Parliament.
This now means that parents who have lost a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy have a day-one right and entitlement to a minimum of two weeks parental bereavement leave with pay at the statutory flat rate funded by the Government subject to meeting eligibility criteria.
This law makes Parental Bereavement Leave a legal right for the first time in the UK’s history. Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst
The Bill was introduced to Parliament in 2017, but now enshrined by law, it is expected to come into force in 2020, honouring the manifesto commitment to introduce a new entitlement to parental bereavement leave.
When I started the campaign 8 years ago after the death of my son Jack, I always hoped that a change would happen in his memory. Knowing that 8 years of campaigning has helped create legislation to ensure bereaved parents are protected in the future is such a wonderful feeling and I am so grateful to all those involved. Lucy Herd from the charity Jack’s Rainbow
It is incredibly important that parents are given time to grieve in the aftermath of a child’s death. Losing a child is an unimaginable trauma. As a Funeral Director, we are in full support of statutory entitlement to leave, although we still feel that two weeks is still not long enough, in recognition of the fact that most families need more time than this.
Losing a child is the most dreadful and unimaginable experience that any parent could suffer and it is right that grieving parents will now be given time to start to come to terms with their loss. Kevin Hollinkrake MP, Bill sponsor
In most situations following the death of a child, two weeks will not give the time needed to arrange a personal and fitting funeral with the importance of having time to make decisions that cannot be rushed, never mind having subsequent and sufficient time to grieve. However, it is a big step forward in recognising the needs of bereaved families in our society and will help to ensure that parents are not unduly pressurised to return to work immediately following the death of their child.
30th July 2018
19th July 2018