Worcester MP Robin Walker was in the chamber of the House of Commons today (20th October) in support of the second reading of the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill.
While the Government expects employers to be compassionate and flexible at such a difficult time, there is currently no legal requirement for employers to provide paid time off for grieving parents.
But under the proposed new law, for the first time employed parents who lose a child under the age of 18 will have the right to two weeks’ paid leave to allow them time to grieve. This will honour the Conservative manifesto commitment to introduce a new entitlement for parental bereavement leave.
The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill, introduced by Kevin Hollinrake MP and supported by the Government, will give a day-one right to parental bereavement leave and employees with a minimum of 26 weeks’ continuous service will be eligible for statutory parental bereavement pay.
Details of the proposed new law were published this week ahead of the bill’s second reading, with the ambition of it becoming law in 2020.
Kevin Hollinrake MP, bill sponsor, 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, said:
“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.”
Speaking after voicing his support for the Bill, Robin said:
“I was really pleased to be there in support of this important piece of legislation, which will rightly enshrine in law the right of parents to take the time and space they need to grieve in such tragic circumstances.”
“For the Government this is another manifesto promise that has been honoured, and I congratulate my parliamentary colleagues Kevin Hollinrake and Will Quince, who have both been instrumental in driving this compassionate legislation forward.”
“I will continue to offer my support for the Bill as it makes its way through Parliament.”
Notes to editors
To read the Bill in full, please see: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2017-2019/0014/18014.pdf