NI Bill passed to allow parents time off after death of unborn

Bill parents time off

Northern Ireland Bill passed to allow parents time off after death of unborn

The Northern Ireland Assembly has passed a Bill to allow grieving parents two weeks paid leave following the death of a child or a stillbirth or miscarriage.

The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Bill was introduced by Diana Dodds MLA when she was Minister for the Economy and was passed by the Assembly last week.

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Mrs Dodds, whose son Andrew was born with spina bifida and died in 1998 at just eight years old, said: “The trauma of losing a child is impossible to overstate, and it is completely understandable that working parents who experience such a bereavement will need the compassion and support of a caring employer”.

The current Minister for the Economy, Gordon Lyons said: “It will provide an important statutory safety net for working parents who suffer such a profound loss. No one should have to worry about losing their job or having to return to work while starting to grieve the loss of a child”.

The legislation applies to parents who lose a child inside or outside the womb

Importantly, the legislation will not only apply to parents who have lost a child outside of the womb, but will extend to working parents who suffer a miscarriage or stillbirth.

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This Bill will see Northern Ireland take a different approach to the rest of the UK, where parents whose baby dies after 24 weeks gestation are entitled to maternity leave, paternity leave and parental bereavement leave, but not if their baby dies prior to 24 weeks gestation.

NI: Bill passed to allow grieving parents time off after death of child inside or outside the womb  Right To Life UK


Dean Nestor

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