Posted on 18.8.17 by Danielle Ayres
The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill (“the Bill”) was introduced into Parliament in July 2017. It is a Private Members’ Bill that, if passed, would entitle employees who have lost a child to paid leave in order to give them time to grieve.
Although only a minority of Private Member Bills become law, the Bill is currently backed by the Government as it fulfils a promise made in the Conservative Manifesto to provide bereavement support for employees, when needed.
Currently there is no legal requirement for employers to offer statutory paid leave for grieving parents.
The details of the Bill will now be discussed in Parliament in October, during which the details of the level of pay and amount of time that would be given will be discussed and decided upon.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has said that it “will be working with businesses, employee representatives and campaigners on behalf of working families to better understand needs of bereaved parents and employers”.
Katie Koehler of Child Bereavement UK says the Bill will be vital in giving grieving parents more choice “The opportunity for leave at a time that feels right for them as individuals would reduce one source of possible additional stress and paid leave would give parents the time to make decisions based on their needs rather than their financial situation.”
In the meantime, it’s important for businesses to have guidelines and training in place to ensure employees affected by bereavement are supported and their absence and return to work are handled correctly and sensitively. ACAS has issued guidance for employers, which can be found here.
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