I am proud and deeply honoured that my Parental Leave and Pay Bill, which will give grieving parents the right to paid bereavement leave has received Royal Assent. It means that, for the first time, employed parents who lose a child under 18, or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy will receive two weeks’ leave when it comes into force in 2020.
Business Minister, Kelly Tolhurst MP, said “This law makes Parental Bereavement Leave a legal right for the first time in the UK’s history. Losing a child is an unimaginable trauma. I am delighted we have reached this important milestone which so many have campaigned for.”
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.
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, of all political persuasions, some of whom have shared their own personal stories of losing a beloved child, who have assisted in bringing forward this legislation so quickly.