Bliss responds to Government proposals for bereavement leave

Posted on November 02, 2018

New workplace rights to give paid leave to those who have suffered the loss of a child and ensure they are treated compassionately by employers were set out by the Government today.

In response to the Government’s announcement today about how the rules will work for the new entitlements for bereaved parents to paid leave after the death of their baby or child, Helen Kirrane, Bliss Campaigns and Policy Manager commented:

“Bliss is delighted that the Government has listened to our calls to give parents greater flexibility over when they can use their paid leave after their baby’s death. This will greatly help parents around the difficult milestones they will experience in and around the first year of their baby’s death. We are also very pleased that the new law will cater for a variety of family circumstances, as Bliss called for, with all primary carers for children, including adopters, foster parents and guardians now made eligible.

“We also welcome the Government’s decision to ensure that parents will not be required to give notice to their employer immediately after the death of their child. We remain concerned that if parents decide to use their paid leave entitlement in two separate week blocks they will need to give their employer notice, and potentially provide written evidence of their eligibility, for the second week. Bliss believes this could create difficulties for families, as grief can come in waves and families will often need to take time off from work at short notice to deal with practicalities such as funeral arrangements, inquests and so on. We are also concerned that the requirement to provide evidence to their employer to claim pay for their leave could leave some parents out of pocket at this most traumatic time in their lives. . We urge the Government to review this decision.

We look forward to seeing the regulations and hope that our concerns will be addressed. ”