The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill has just passed its third reading in the House of Lords and is expected to come into force in April 2020.
An update from Kielan Arblaster, our Policy Involvement Assistant.
The private members Bill, tabled by Kevin Hollinrake MP in Parliament, embeds a legal entitlement of at least two weeks leave and pay for parents who have lost a child.
Previously, there had been no legal provision in place for leave and pay from work for bereaved parents, with the majority of parents relying on their employer’s internal compassionate leave policy.
Clearing its last parliamentary hurdle, Labour’s Lord Knight of Weymouth took the Bill through the upper chamber and paid tribute to Lucy Herd, who campaigned for a change in the law following the death of her son in 2010.
Once the Bill receives Royal Assent, the Government will ascertain the necessary regulations which could be as early as next year.
The brain tumour community
The Bill is particularly pertinent in the brain tumour community, where brain tumours take the lives of more children under 14 than any other cancer, with over 200 children a year dying from a high grade brain tumour.
With the Bill having strong cross-party support, the Business minister, Lord Henley, said more than 1,400 consultation responses had been received which will help shape the final policy.
The Brain Tumour Charity submitted its consultation response in June highlighting concerns the Bill would have on the brain tumour community.
Particularly, we underlined the Bill’s implications on self-employed parents and the arbitrary distinction of entitlement for leave and pay, outlined in the original draft, between parents who have lost a child and parents who suffer a stillbirth.
We hope the final revisions of the final policy will recognise its impact on the brain tumour community and be fully accommodating of the additional needs acquired from losing a child to a brain tumour.
The Brain Tumour Charity
Here at The Charity, we will always respond to political changes that impact all those who suffer a brain tumour diagnosis.
We will continue to respond to public policy and consultations to ensure our community’s voice is heard and their needs assured.
Our community is at the heart of everything we do which is why we will continue to support everyone impacted by a brain tumour. We hope the final Bill will reflect the immense struggle bereaved parents face and look forward to it becoming law.
Sacha Langton–Gilks has written a book to help other grieving parents.