A new private members bill has been introduced to Parliament that would enable employed parents to receive statutory paid leave to grieve after the death of their child.
The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill was introduced into Parliament last month and is supported by the government in line with its pledge to enhance rights and protections in the workplace.
The new law will work to allow grieving parents in employment to take paid leave in order to privately mourn after the death of their child.
The bill is expected to have its second reading in the autumn, and time will tell whether this will become law or not.
The DBEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy — a proper mouthful!) will work with employers, employee representatives, and campaigners over the summer in order to better understand the needs of bereaved parents and their employers.
What the current position?
Currently, there is NO legal requirement for employers to provide paid leave for grieving parents. Under the Employment Rights Act, employees have a day-one right to take a reasonable amount of unpaid time off work to deal with an emergency involving a dependent. Often referred to as emergency leave or time off for dependents leave. This would include making arrangements following the death of a dependent. The length of this unpaid leave is usually agreed between the employer and employee.