Today in Westminster, Robin Walker: MP for Worcester and Minister for Exiting the EU, has strongly welcomed a new workplace right to paid leave for bereaved parents. This upholds a key Conservative manifesto commitment to introduce a new entitlement to parental bereavement leave which has been officially enshrined in law today (13th September 2018).
The first law of its kind in the UK, will support those affected by the tragedy of childhood mortality, and is expected to come into force in 2020. The new Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Act will give all employed parents a day-one right to 2 weeks’ leave if they lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. Employed parents will also be able to claim pay for this period, subject to meeting eligibility criteria.
Two weeks leave goes above and beyond other countries, especially in continental Europe, where paid leave for bereaved parents is given, but it is decided by each Member State and is on average one week. Today’s announcement is an example of how we can legislate for workers’ rights outside of the EU. For example in Canada, they only provide three days’ paid leave, and whilst some private UK firms have their own compassionate leave guidelines, legislating for UK workers safeguards their rights during an incredibly difficult time.
The Bill was introduced to the Commons last year by Kevin Hollinrake MP, and Robin was there to support his colleague in the Chamber when the Bill was first presented in October 2017. At the time Robin pledged his support for this important piece of legislation, and has continued to since then.
Kevin Hollinrake MP, Bill sponsor, said:
“Losing a child is the most dreadful and unimaginable experience that any parent could suffer and it is right that grieving parents will now be given time to start to come to terms with their loss.”
“I am grateful to Will Quince MP, who first brought this issue to the fore in a ‘Ten-Minute Rule Motion’ on statutory entitlement during the previous parliamentary session. I am also grateful to Lord Knight and fellow MPs, on both sides of the House, some of whom have shared their own personal stories of losing a beloved child, who have assisted in bringing forward this legislation so quickly.”
Commenting on the above, Robin said:
“I was really pleased to be there in the Chamber last year to support the early stages of this important piece of legislation which has rightly been enshrined into law today. This Bill gives parents the legal rights to take the time and space they need to grieve in such tragic circumstances.”
“For this Conservative Government: this bill is another key manifesto promise that has been honoured and delivered. I congratulate my parliamentary colleagues Kevin Hollinrake and Will Quince, who have both been instrumental in driving this compassionate legislation forward.”
“As a new Parent myself, I cannot begin to imagine what a horrendous ordeal it must be to lose one’s child, and I was very moved by my colleague Will Quince who spoke in the Chamber and shared his own experiences.”
Notes to Editors:
If you have any questions about this press release then please call Robin’s Westminster Office on 020 7219 7196.
To read Robin’s previous press release on this issue:
To read the Government’s official announcement:
To read more about the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay Bill):