The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published details of proposed legislation which would entitle working parents to paid leave following the death of a child.
The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill, which was introduced by Member of Parliament Kevin Hollinrake, proposes that employed parents who lose a child under the age of 18 have the right to two weeks’ paid leave to grieve the loss of their child away from the workplace.
Employees with a minimum of 26 weeks’ continuous service would also be eligible for statutory parental bereavement pay, which is predicted to deliver payments between £1.3 million and £2 million annually. Small employers will be able to recover all statutory parental bereavement leave pay, and larger employers will be able to reclaim most of it.
Details of the bill have been published in Parliament ahead of the Bill’s second reading on 20 October. It is hoped the bill will formally become law in 2020.
Currently, there is no legal requirement for employers to provide paid time off for grieving parents.
Hollinrake said: “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.”
Margot James, business minister, added: “We want parents to feel properly supported by their employer when they go through the deeply distressing ordeal of losing a child. That’s why government is backing this bill, which goes significantly further than most other countries in providing this kind of workplace right for employees.”