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UK first: Bereaved parents entitled to paid leave

A new workplace right to paid leave for bereaved parents has been officially enshrined in law.

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Employed parents who lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy, will receive two weeks’ leave under the new Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Act, which is expected to come into force in 2020.

 

Lucy Herd, founder of charity Jack’s Rainbow, said: “When I started campaigning for this eight years ago after the death of my son Jack, I always hoped that a change would happen in his memory.

 

“Knowing that eight years of campaigning has helped create legislation to ensure bereaved parents are protected in the future is such a wonderful feeling and I am so grateful to all those involved.”

 

The government-backed bill was introduced to parliament in July 2017 as a private member’s bill by Kevin Hollinrake MP.

 

Hollinkrake said: “Losing a child is the most dreadful and unimaginable experience that any parent could suffer and it is right that grieving parents will now be given time to start to come to terms with their loss.

 

“I am grateful to Will Quince MP, who first brought this issue to the fore in a ‘Ten-Minute Rule Motion’ on statutory entitlement during the previous parliamentary session. I am also grateful to Lord Knight and fellow MPs, on both sides of the House, some of whom have shared their own personal stories of losing a beloved child, who have assisted in bringing forward this legislation so quickly.”

 

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