Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill introduced to Parliament

24 July 2017

For the first time, parents who are employed and have suffered the death of a child would receive statutory paid leave to grieve, under a new law being supported by the government.

Currently 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 dependant, including making arrangements following the death of a dependant. What is “reasonable” depends on the circumstances but in practice the length of time off will be agreed between the employer and their employee.

The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill will seek to ensure grieving parents in employment receive paid leave to grieve away from the workplace, delivering on the government’s pledge to “enhance rights and protections in the workplace”.

Business Minister Margot James said:

“The loss of a child is a traumatic experience for any parent. For parents holding down a job at the same time as dealing with their grief it can be doubly stressful. We want parents to get the support they need at this deeply upsetting time that is why government is supporting this Private Members Bill which will introduce statutory paid bereavement leave for employed parents.”

Over the summer, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will be working with employers, employee representatives and campaigners on behalf of working families to understand better the needs of bereaved parents and employers.

Kevin Hollinrake MP introduced the Bill into Parliament and it is expected to have its second reading in the autumn.