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Support for Parental Bereavement Bill

Last week the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill was read for the second time in Parliament. It was introduced by Kevin Hollinrake MP (Thirsk & Morten) and proposes that parents who experience child loss be given a minimum of two weeks paid leave to be taken within 56 days of the loss.

Andrea Kerslake, one of the founders of Elliot’s Footprint said:

‘Whilst we welcome the move to create a mandatory set leave for those who have lost a child we feel that 2 weeks is simply insufficient. 2 weeks would not have been long enough to sort our son’s burial.

The 56 day time limit to take this leave also concerns us, in cases of complicated child death i.e needing a postmortem and inquiry, this time would not be sufficient.

We advocate a flexible period of a month for a one year period. What we have found with people we support is that that grief can significantly impact parents 6 months after death. This would allow parents time to grieve, find the support they need and in the case of complicated deaths have the time to attend inquiries and postmortems.’

Elliot’s Footprint took part in a Facebook Debate with Kevin Hollinrake and we raised these concerns. He responded:

‘Thanks for sharing your stories, so heartbreaking but really helps to make my case. Certainly understand need to be more flexible in duration and amount of time off, we would expect employers to be much more generous than our rules provide for and most will be of course. Will certainly share your thoughts with ministers to see what we can do.’

The bill passed it’s 2nd reading and will now move on to the committee stage where a committee of MP’s will listen to evidence and views around this bill. Elliot’s Footprint will submit evidence to this committee and share online.

If you have a story you wish to share about these issues then please don’t hesitate to email us

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