URGENT NEED FOR STATUTORY PAID BEREAVEMENT LEAVE
I continued my campaign for Statutory Paid Bereavement Leave by presenting a Parliamentary Petition calling on the UK Government to introduce this support as a matter of urgency.
The Covid19 pandemic has caused widespread grief across the UK, however many have been unable to properly grieve without fear of financial penalty. While many employers provide paid bereavement leave for staff, it is entirely up to their discretion, with those in low paid work less likely to benefit from paid bereavement leave.
Recent research from the charity Sue Ryder shows that grief experienced by employees who have lost a loved one costs the UK economy £23 billion per year, and costs the Treasury nearly £8 billion per year.
One third of employees who experience a bereavement do not receive any contact from their employers about bereavement rights, and only 32% know if their workplace has a bereavement policy.
Bereavement can trigger depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress, and is linked to an increased likelihood of heart attacks, diabetes and mortality. Eight million working people in the UK, around a quarter, experienced bereavement last year. While many employers are supportive and understanding, some are not. Such a profoundly life-changing experience, with potentially long-term consequences, cannot and must not be left to employer goodwill.
Watch my contribution below.