SNP MP pushes to change law on bereavement leave

Patricia Gibson is working on a Private Member’s Bill that would give workers two weeks of paid leave after the death of a loved one.

Katrine Bussey
Monday 03 January 2022 00:01
An MP is bidding to change the law to guarantee workers paid bereavement leave (Ben Birchall/PA)
An MP is bidding to change the law to guarantee workers paid bereavement leave (Ben Birchall/PA)

An MP wants to change the law so that all workers can be guaranteed two weeks of bereavement leave after the death of a loved one.

SNP MP Patricia Gibson is bringing forward a Private Member’s Bill to Westminster which she said would allow people to “make time to grieve without worrying about financial pressures”.

The North Ayrshire and Arran MP has already helped  to secure paid bereavement leave for parents who lose a child up to the age of 18.

She is now working on her Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill, which is scheduled to have its second reading in March.

Patricia Gibson said people should not have to rely on the goodwill of employers for leave following a bereavement. (Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA)

She said: “Bereavement, although a fact of life, can be a profoundly life-changing experience, with potential long-term consequences for a person’s mental and physical health, as well as our society and economy.

“With better support at the right time for people who suffer loss, we could have a healthier society with greater wellbeing at its heart, instead of telling people to just get on with it.”

The SNP MP added: “Relying on an employer’s goodwill to grant compassionate leave is unfair and clearly doesn’t work, with the greatest impact being felt by those on low incomes.

“That is why I will continue to press this issue during the second reading of my Bill. Every employee should have the right to statutory bereavement leave.

“Whilst employment law remains reserved to Westminster, I am urging the UK Government and MPs from across the house to support this Bill, thus ensuring thousands of people each year are able to make time to grieve without worrying about financial pressures.”

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