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Oct 12th, 2017

Parental Bereavement

By Becca McCarthy

Losing a child is any parents worst nightmare. But for some, it doesn’t stop there. Instead of having time to grieve, they face losing pay – or even their job – if they don’t show up at work the next day.

Right now, nobody is entitled to paid leave if they lose a child. But a new bill that MPs are voting on in Parliament next week could change that – if we can persuade enough MPs to vote for it.

Backbench MP, Kevin Hollinrake, has put forward a bill which would give parents who lose a child the right to paid leave from work.  It doesn’t seem controversial, but last year a similar bill didn’t get enough support from other MPs to become law.

For it to become a reality this time around, MPs need to turn up and vote for it. That’s much more likely to happen if we get behind it. 38 Degrees’ campaigns are chosen by all of us. So, should 38 Degrees throw our weight behind this bill which would give parents who lose their child have right to paid leave?

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This new law is being proposed as a “Private Members’ Bill”. It’s a parliamentary procedure which allows backbench MPs from any party to propose new laws, independent of the government’s plans. That means that it’s left up to each individual MP to decide whether or not to support it. Which is where we could come in – if all of us put pressure on our MPs to show up and support it, it will be far more likely to get through.

Here’s what the MP who’s pushing forward the new law has to say:

“My Private Members Bill will give grieving parents the right to paid leave from their employers, which would be a small gesture to help them come to terms with their loss. For this Bill to become law it needs the support of Members across the House. I hope 38 Degrees members will come on board and back my bill so that parents can have the time they need, away from work, with their families to start the painful process of rebuilding their lives.” – Kevin Hollinrake MP

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