Time to Grieve: Proposed Changes to Bereavement Leave

By Wei Heng Tan

Source: https://www.thenational.scot/news/19820744.push-change-law-bereavement-leave-uk-snp-mp/


MP Patricia Gibson’s proposed Private Member’s Bill tilted Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill is scheduled to have its second reading in March. [1] It aims to allow people to “make time to grieve without worrying about financial pressures”. [2] Given the mental and emotional impact of the loss of a loved one, it is crucial to provide ample support for individuals to mourn. As such, the bill aims to make statutory provisions to guarantee employees two weeks of paid bereavement leave.


As it stands, there is no English law entitling employees to leave in the event of a death in the family. This means that employees rely on the goodwill of employers and are at mercy of company policies. Furthermore, the average leave granted ranges from three to five days. [3] By requiring employers to provide paid leave for employees facing such difficult circumstances, it gives employees and their family space and time to properly mourn and heal. This would likely improve the mental health of employees and allow them to bounce back from the tragedy.





References:

[1] Gregor Young, ‘Push to change the law on bereavement leave in the UK from SNP MP’ (The National, 3 January 2022) <https://www.thenational.scot/news/19820744.push-change-law-bereavement-leave-uk-snp-mp/>

[2] Ibid.

[3] 'Bereavement and compassionate leave in the UK’, (Funeral PartnersI) accessed 10 January 2022 <https://www.funeralpartners.co.uk/help-advice/what-to-do-when-someone-dies/bereavement-and-compassionate-leave-in-the-uk/>.