My Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) bill gives employed parents the entitlement, in law, to two weeks’ paid leave if they lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth after 24 weeks.
Until now the Government has expected employers to be compassionate and flexible if one of their staff loses a child, but not all employers will respond in this way. This can have a devastating impact on parents, especially those who need time away to grieve.
It was a great honour to play a role in shaping this Bill. I could not have done so without Government support and without the contributions from colleagues, constituents and many others who have shared their tragic and personal stories with me to ensure that it is fit for purpose.
As a parent of four children, I cannot imagine the suffering endured by a parent who loses their child, whatever the age. I very much hope that this new law will help them, in some small way, when they are most in need of support.