Sue Ryder is urging the Government to include the Employment Bill in the Queen's Speech on 10 May, as a legal right to paid bereavement leave for all could be introduced within an Employment Bill.
The Queen's Speech marks the start of the parliamentary year and sets out the Government’s priorities for the upcoming parliamentary session.
In the Queen’s Speech in 2019, the introduction of an Employment Bill was promised, but it failed to materialise - it will be really disappointing if it is missing from this year’s Speech again.
At Sue Ryder we believe that the government should introduce a legal right to a minimum of two weeks’ bereavement leave for the death of an immediate family member. This change could be introduced within an Employment Bill.
In 2020, research from Sue Ryder found that 62% of people believed that paid leave following the death of a parent, partner, sibling or child should be a week or more, and 42% believed it should be two weeks or more (1). In response to this, we launched a petition so that people could show their support for the introduction of bereavement leave for all, and amazingly we got over 51,500 signatures.
So many of us have been affected by grief, particularly in the last two years. The introduction of paid bereavement leave would help to ensure that people get the vital time off they need to grieve and organise practical matters. Every day people experience a bereavement without the reassurance that they will get sufficient time off work. The government should not delay on this any longer.
As part of our influencing work around this area, we have also written to the government urging them to bring forward the Employment Bill in the Queen’s Speech, and will be continuing to call on them for developments in this area between now and 10th May.
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Online Bereavement Support
If you are coping with grief, our Online Bereavement Support provides information and advice, qualified counsellors and a community of others with similar experiences.