Mum Whose Son Drowned Calls For 'Guaranteed' Bereavement Leave

14/08/2014 16:56 | Updated 22 May 2015

Man carrying a sad small child

A survey has found that most people would support a national guaranteed bereavement leave period for employees after the death of a family member.

Currently there is no legal entitlement to time off following a death, even if it is an employee's own son or daughter.

The Change Bereavement Leave campaign found that 71 of those polled knew there was actually no guarantee they could take paid time off.

If guaranteed leave were to become the law, it would require a change to the Employment Rights Act 1996. The BBC reports that without Government support, there is little chance of the act being changed, however, they say that when speaking at Prime Minister's Questions on 20 November, David Cameron acknowledged it was 'an important issue.'

The founder of Change Bereavement Leave, Lucy Herd, started the campaign after her 23-month-old son Jack drowned in the family's garden pond in 2010.

Her then partner's employer only allowed him three days off work - which included one day for the funeral.

She said the current system was 'inhumane anomaly' and that it was vital the law was changed.

"David Cameron acknowledged he was able to take two weeks off after the death of his own son, but sadly not all parents have sympathetic or understanding employers or can afford unpaid time off," she said. "We would like to see four weeks of paid bereavement leave for parents."

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