First law of its kind - Parental Leave and Pay Bill achieves Royal Assent

13 September 2018

  • New employment right to leave for bereaved parents will be passed today (Thursday 13 September).

  • Working parents who lose a baby from 24 weeks of pregnancy or a child under 18 to be entitled to receive 2 weeks’ leave and pay.

  • The Act is expected to come into force in 2020.

There is currently no statutory right for paid leave for parents who lose a child.

The change in law has been ignited by Lucy Heard who campaigned for bereaved parents to be given appropriate leave. Her actions followed the death of her 23-month-old son Jack, when her husband was only able to have three days off work, including one to attend the funeral. Lucy said:

'When I started the campaign 8 years ago after the death of my son Jack, I always hoped that a change would happen in his memory.'

'Knowing that 8 years of campaigning has helped create legislation to ensure bereaved parents are protected in the future is such a wonderful feeling and I am so grateful to all those involved.'

The new law was introduced to Parliament as a private member’s bill by Kevin Hollinrake, who said:

'Losing a child is the most dreadful and unimaginable experience that any parent could suffer and it is right that grieving parents will now be given time to start to come to terms with their loss'