Parents who lose a child will soon be entitled to bereavement leave

A new law means bereaved parents will be able to claim paid leave.

A new workplace right to paid leave for bereaved parents has been officially enshrined in law as the Parental Leave and Pay Bill achieves Royal Assent.

The first law of its kind in the UK will support those affected by the tragedy of childhood mortality and is expected to come into force in 2020.

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The new Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Act will give all employed parents a day-one right to 2 weeks’ leave if they lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Employed parents will be able to claim pay for this period, subject to meeting eligibility criteria.

There is currently no statutory entitlement for paid leave for parents who lose a child and campaigner Lucy Herd, who lost her 23-month-old son Jack in 2010, has been leading a drive to get this law passed.

A big step in recognising the needs of bereaved families.

Lucy Herd from Jack’s Rainbow said; "When I started the campaign 8 years ago after the death of my son Jack, I always hoped that a change would happen in his memory.

"Knowing that 8 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."

Francine Bates, Chief Executive of The Lullaby Trust, said; "we know how devastating the sudden and unexpected death of a baby or a child is for parents.

"This new law is a big step forward in recognising the needs of bereaved families in our society and will help to ensure that parents are not unduly pressurised to return to work immediately following the death of their child."

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