Last week a bill designed to create a system of statutory parental bereavement leave cleared its final stages in the House of Commons.
Losing a child or suffering a stillbirth is one of the hardest things anyone can face in life. Whilst the vast majority of employers are very understanding about the need their staff will have for time off a small minority are not. The bill creates a statutory entitlement to two weeks paid leave, along with provisions for the taxpayer to provide support for a statutory level of payment to assist in covering the costs of this.
I am a supporter of the bill, although during today’s Report Stage I wanted to test out the thoughts behind some key parts of it. These included the provisions around giving notice of the need to take such leave, how long the leave should last and who should be covered by the entitlement.
I worked with a colleague to produce a series of amendments raising these points and you can listen to my speech discussing them by clicking here. You might want to make a cup of tea before doing so as my speech does go on for 54 minutes. Later in the day I withdrew them following reassurances received from the Government and the Bill’s Sponsor about how these points would be considered as part of a forthcoming consultation.