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THE Sue Ryder charity called on the government yesterday to introduce two weeks’ statutory paid bereavement leave for all employees.
The national bereavement charity is asking for new legislation to provide paid leave after the death of a close relative or partner.
Under current legislation, statutory bereavement pay is only available to eligible parents if their children die before they turn 18 or if a baby is stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
People classed as employees currently have the right to “reasonable” time off if a dependant dies, including a partner or parent, but there is no legal right for this leave to be paid.
The charity said introducing two weeks’ paid leave would help alleviate some of the stress people may feel after a bereavement and help those in low-paid jobs.
Heidi Travis, head of Sue Ryder, said: “For many people, grief can be debilitating, and additional stressors such as work can feel overwhelming.
“Currently, many employers offer three to five days’ compassionate leave, but lower-income workers in less-secure jobs often don’t have access to any leave.”
The government has urged employers to “display compassion and flexibility” to staff facing bereavement.
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