Thank you for contacting me about parental bereavement leave and pay.
I agree we could improve things for people in this devastating situation, and I want parents to feel properly supported by their employer when they go through the deeply distressing ordeal of losing a child. I therefore welcome that the Government is backing the Parental Bereavement (leave and pay) Bill which goes significantly further than most other countries in providing this kind of workplace right for employees.
As you may be aware, the Bill, introduced by Kevin Hollinrake MP, 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. Under the proposed measures, 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 Government’s manifesto commitment to introduce a new entitlement for parental bereavement leave.
Rest assured, I will offer my support for the Bill as it makes its way through Parliament and I am happy that the bill has proceeded to its next stage. A number of the points that constituent emails asked to be considered in the bill – including how it applies to those on Universal Credit or others who are unemployed – were raised in the initial debate and I am sure they will be examined fully as the Bill proceeds to committee.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.