The Sue Ryder charity has claimed that people who suffer bereavement should be entitled to two weeks’ statutory paid leave.
The rules have come particularly into focus thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, employers are only obligated to give paid leave to parents who lose a child, but Sue Ryder claims that granting bereavement leave to those who have lost close relatives or partners would not only be beneficial to the individual, but also the UK’s economy. Sue Ryder has urged the public to contact their MP and ask for statutory paid bereavement leave to be included in the upcoming Employment Bill.
Many employers do offer their employees up to five days compassionate leave, but this is not always the case, especially for lower-income workers in less secure jobs. This leaves lower-income workers at an increased risk of suffering from ongoing grief, and in extreme cases, serious mental health issues given the higher relative impact of financial losses and the higher barriers to services to help them cope.
The charity suggested that the short-term losses to businesses would be far outweighed by the
long-term savings. Research calculated that grief experienced by employees costs the UK £23bn a year through reduced productivity, and the treasury more than £7bn in tax revenues and healthcare resources.
A government spokesperson said that the government urges employers to display compassion and flexibility towards bereavement.
At Stella Maris Solicitors LLP, we specialise in employment law. If you are having legal issues at work, either as an employee or an employer, please do not hesitate to contact us via email at email@example.com or telephone on 01793 296118.
 Research carried out by an economist, commissioned by Sue Ryder.