An MP is proposing a law which would guarantee paid bereavement leave for anyone who loses a loved one. .
Patricia Gibson MP is introducing a Private Member’s Bill to mandate two-weeks of paid leave for all workers, so that people can “make time to grieve without worrying about financial pressures”.
Current system is "unfair and doesn't work"
SNP MP Patricia Gibson has put forward the Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill, which is due to have its second reading in March.
She said that people on low incomes are impacted the most by the current system, which relies on the “employer’s goodwill to grant compassionate leave”.
Patricia Gibson MP said: “Bereavement, although a fact of life, can be a profoundly life-changing experience, with potential long-term consequences for a person’s mental and physical health, as well as our society and economy.
“With better support at the right time for people who suffer loss, we could have a healthier society with greater wellbeing at its heart, instead of telling people to just get on with it.”
“Relying on an employer’s goodwill to grant compassionate leave is unfair and clearly doesn’t work, with the greatest impact being felt by those on low incomes.
"Every employee should have the right to statutory bereavement leave."
The SNP MP added: “Whilst employment law remains reserved to Westminster, I am urging the UK Government and MPs from across the house to support this Bill, thus ensuring thousands of people each year are able to make time to grieve without worrying about financial pressures.”
No legal requirement for paid bereavement leave
Currently, there is no legal requirement for an employer to offer any paid bereavement leave, although they must provide a ‘reasonable’ amount of unpaid time off if a parent, partner, child under 18 or someone else who relies on them dies
If an employee’s child under the age of 18 dies, they are entitled to two weeks of parental bereavement leave, although this is not always paid
Gibson has previously helped to secure changes to bereavement policies to mandate paid leave for parents who lose a child up to the age of 18