Local Member of Parliament Carla Lockhart has said the legal provision for leave and pay for bereaved parents passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly is long overdue, adding that the inclusion of loss by stillbirth or miscarriage is a positive step in recognising the pain felt at such a loss.
Carla Lockhart said:
“The loss of a child is a trauma that no family should face, but sadly many in our community do face such tragedy.
Until now there has been no statutory requirement upon employers to offer leave or pay to those who have faced this terrible situation. Many employers have done the right thing is such circumstances, but others have not.
Now, thanks to new legislation, there is a legal requirement to provide two weeks leave following the death of a child aged 18 or under. This will also include those who lose a child through still-birth or miscarriage, which is a very welcome recognition of the tragedy of loss in these circumstances.
I want to pay tribute to my colleague Diane Dodds MLA, who initially brought this legislation forward when Minister of the Economy, and to Gordon Lyons MLA for guiding this Bill into law.
This will be a great comfort to many families who unfortunately will face this hugely challenging time in their lives. It is the right and compassionate thing to do and is very welcome indeed.”