New Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill Likely to be Law by 2019
Employed parents who lose a child may have the right to at least two weeks’ leave, under new legislation being considered by the Government.
Whilst it is often the case that employers will provide their employees with a ‘reasonable’ period of paid leave, employers are not legally entitled to provide parents with paid time off following the death of a child. This means that parents can sometimes be forced to continue working during what is undoubtedly a hugely traumatic time.
However, under these new proposals, employees who have 26 weeks’ continuous service may be eligible for statutory parental bereavement pay.
In addition to the paid leave, employers are also likely to be encouraged to provide employees with flexible working options, access to counselling and employee assistance programmes. Managers will also be required to help employees adapt and manage their work if they are struggling to cope.
The UK is currently one of a few countries looking to implement this kind of workplace right for their employees. It is widely supported by many charities supporting bereaved parents who have long been campaigning for the introduction of compassionate leave during such a distressing time.
There are currently no plans to extend the leave to other types of bereavement.