Rochester and Strood MP Welcomes Parental Bereavement Leave Legislation

Minister for Labour Markets, Kelly Tolhurst MP, has been pleased to welcome the new legislation today which will give all employed parents who lose a child a right to take 2 weeks’ off work, irrespective of how long they worked for their employer.

This will apply to employed parents who lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Bereaved parents will be able to take the leave as either a single block of 2 weeks, or as 2 separate blocks of one week – whenever they need it most across the first year after their child’s death.

The 2 weeks will now become the statutory minimum and businesses are encouraged to go further, if possible, and be as compassionate with their employees as possible.

This will come into force on 6 April 2020, subject to Parliamentary approval of the legislation being laid today.

This legislation will make the UK the only country in the world to have introduced a right to time off specifically for the loss of a child. While other countries also offer bereavement leave, this offer is the most generous of its kind in the world.

Kelly Tolhurst MP said, “Losing a child is an experience no parent should have to go through. However I am proud that this government is putting in place the right support for those parents and ensuring that leave for bereaved parents is a legal right.”

“I am delighted that in Medway we have amazing local charities that work to support bereaved families – Making Miracles, Abigail’s Footsteps and Cherished Whispers – who have been a vital part of this legislation. They offer invaluable support to people who have been affected by the tragic loss of a child.”