The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill gets a second reading in parliament today and if passed it may be law by 2020.

This proposes that all parents will, from day one of employment, be entitled to time off work if they lose a child under the age of 18. With a further right to this being paid time off (at a statutory rate) for two weeks if the employee has a minimum of 26 weeks’ service.

It is hard to comprehend a reasonable and caring employer that wouldn’t already give employees some time off to grieve in such awful circumstances but this will make it clear that there is a statutory right to that time.

Subjects like this are so emotive as no one knows if they would be ready to return to work after just two weeks in this kind of situation, but equally a company have to manage their business functions, and their payroll effectively for the benefit of all employees.

People may feel aggrieved if they feel their employer is unsympathetic and in our view it is often that sense of feeling cared about that is as important if not more so, than the financial consideration.

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