Update – The UK Government has brought the right to paid bereavement leave into force from April 2020. Jack’s law, named after a little boy who tragically died in 2010, allows parents who lose a child under the age of 18 to have 2 weeks’ paid leave. Whilst this isn’t enough in itself, it is a start and hopefully UK employers will go over and above the legislative minimum when it comes to paid bereavement leave. Read more from our original blog below:
The death of a child must be truly traumatic for any parent.
The last thing they want to be concerned about is feeling obliged to rush back to work straight after losing a child. Allowing a period of time off to grieve is often effective in helping overcome bereavement in the long term.
Everyone deals with grief in different ways and it can be difficult for employers to know how to best manage and ensure that they are supporting grieving parents.
What can be done to help?
New proposed legislation has been going through Parliament and the government has consulted with organisations and employees to ensure their feedback is taken in to account. Yesterday, the Parental Bereavement (Leave & Pay) Act 2018 received Royal Assent, meaning it should be passed in to legislation in 2020.
Who will this help?
It will be available for all working parents who suffer the loss of a child who is under 18.
Other than discretionary compassionate leave that an employer may give, there is currently no specific entitlement to leave or pay to allow grieving parents to have time off work. Supporting grieving parents hasn’t been a legal priority.
Unfortunately, not all employers have been as compassionate and understanding as some and the MP Will Quince, after suffering the terrible loss of his son, has been campaigning for this to change.
How will it help?
It will give eligible employees 2 weeks paid bereavement leave, regardless of their length of service.
The leave will not necessarily have to be taken in one go and there will be additional rights for bereaved working parents.
Need some help in supporting your employees?
Maybe one of your employees is grieving or going through a difficult patch and as an employer you are not sure where to start, how to support them or what you can do?
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