UK now world leader in paid bereavement leave

The UK is now the world leader in paid bereavement leave, as it offers double the amount of time compared to other countries, however, it has still been dubbed the “minimum” amount of time a business should offer its employees.

Despite the UK now offering two weeks paid leave to bereaving parents, the CIPD still believes that this is the “minimum” amount of time a business should offer its employees.

Claire McCartney, resourcing and inclusion adviser for the CIPD said:

Suffering the loss of a child is a devastating experience and bereaved parents should be treated with compassion and support in the workplace. While the introduction of two weeks’ statutory leave is welcome, this is the absolute minimum that businesses need to do to support a grieving parent.

The person will need time to come to terms with what has happened and will be highly unlikely to be able to perform well at work if they are forced to return too quickly. Organisations need to think of the support they can give to bereaved parents beyond the two-week period laid out in Jack’s Law.

Last week (23//01/20), Jack’s Law was introduced which gives parents who suffer the loss of a child under the age of 18 to be entitled to two weeks paid statutory parental bereavement leave (SPBL).

The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulation is known as Jack’s Law in memory of Jack Herd, a 23-month-old who died in a pond.

This law will come in to effect from the 6th April this year and was announced by Andrea Leadsom, the business secretary.

Research conducted by Beecham Peacock, Newcastle solicitors found that the country that comes in second place is Canada, offering five days. However, only the first three days are paid at regular wages and only if employees have been with the company for three months.

France offers 3-5 paid days, Spain 2-4 days, China 1-3 days, Australia 2 days and Brazil 2 days.