We welcome a new law which will introduce the right to two weeks’ statutory paid leave for parents following the death of a child or a stillbirth later this year.
The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Bill passed its final stage in the Northern Ireland Assembly earlier this week. It will provide support for working parents across Northern Ireland to take paid time off from work to come to terms with the loss of their child if they choose to do so.
“I am very pleased that the Northern Ireland Assembly has legislated for this important reform, which will benefit many parents caring for children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions,” said Andy Fletcher, Together for Short Lives CEO, as he welcomed the news. “While a wide range of employers already offer support to bereaved parents, the new law will guarantee that they are given time and space from work to begin to grieve. When the bill receives Royal Assent, this important right will be extended to all parents across the UK who are bereaved of a child.”
The Assembly has also passed legislation to provide a similar level of support to working parents who suffer a miscarriage. The Northern Ireland Department for the Economy will draft miscarriage leave and pay regulations once it has consulted the public.