New laws propose two weeks paid leave for parents after death of child

There is currently no legal requirement for employers to provide paid time off for grieving parents
There is currently no legal requirement for employers to provide paid time off for grieving parents
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Workers who have suffered the death of a child will benefit from fresh paid leave allowances under proposed new laws.

There is currently no legal requirement for employers to provide paid time off for grieving parents, but under the plans parents who lose a child under the age of 18 will have the right to two weeks paid leave.

Under the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill, introduced by Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake and supported by the Government, employees with a minimum of 26 weeks continuous service will be eligible for statutory parental bereavement pay.

Mr Hollinrake 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."

Business Minister Margot James 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."

Small employers will be able to recover all statutory parental bereavement pay while larger employers will be able to reclaim almost all of it.

Details of the proposed new law were published in Parliament ahead of the bill's second reading on October 20, with the ambition of it becoming law in 2020.

Sir Brendan Barber, chairman of the conciliation service Acas, welcomed the announcement, saying: "The death of a child can be an extremely sad and emotional experience for any parent.

"This new proposed legal right will allow eligible working parents paid time off to help them grieve and will help employers who manage staff that are experiencing the distressing loss of a loved one.

"Acas has existing good practice guidance on managing bereavement at work and we are working on revising our advice to incorporate this new legal right."