New leave allowance for bereaved parents in UK will be one of the most generous in the world, under proposed laws published today.
The new laws will give employed parents two week’s paid leave if they suffer the death of a child under 18. The bill goes significantly further than most other countries in providing this kind of workplace right for employees
Currently, employers are expected to be compassionate and flexible at such a difficult time, however, there is no legal requirement for employers to provide paid time off for grieving parents.
The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill, introduced by Kevin Hollinrake MP and supported by the Government, will give a day-one right to parental bereavement leave and employees with a minimum of 26 weeks’ continuous service will be eligible for statutory parental bereavement pay.
Kevin Hollinrake MP, bill sponsor, says: “Sadly I have had constituents who have gone through this dreadful experience and while some parents prefer to carry on working, others need time off.
“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.”
Many bereaved parents have campaigned tirelessly for paid compassionate leave after the death of a child and are very pleased to see that the UK is now supporting parents who need time away from work to grieve for their child, says Francine Bates, CEO of The Lullaby Trust.
She says: “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.”
Details of the proposed new law were published today in Parliament ahead of the bill’s second reading on 20 October, with the ambition of it becoming law in 2020. Small employers will be able to recover all statutory parental bereavement pay while larger employers will be able to reclaim almost all of it. The Government estimates the annual cost of statutory payments under this proposal to be between £1.3m and £2m.