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Employees who have suffered the death of a child could be entitled to new paid leave allowances under proposed new law.
There is currently no legal requirement for employers to provide paid time off for grieving parents, but under proposed new laws, 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, says the Government.
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, paid at the statutory rate.
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.”
Small employers will be able to recover all statutory parental bereavement pay while larger employers will be able to reclaim almost all of it. Parents will have up to 56 days to take the leave.
The bill will have a second reading on 20 October, with the ambition of it becoming law in 2020.