Economy Committee adds Important Amendments to Parental Bereavement (Leave And Pay) Bill

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 29 November 2021

Reference: CfE 02/20/21

The Assembly’s Committee for the Economy has completed its examination of the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill. This important legislation focuses on the statutory entitlements available to a parent/carer following the death of a child.

The Committee examined the Bill in detail, consulting the public and stakeholders before drafting its report on the Bill. The Committee’s report recommends seven amendments to the legislation, including making provision for miscarriage.

Chairperson of the Economy Committee, Dr Caoimhe Archibald MLA, said: “The Committee was saddened to hear that child deaths affect approximately 450 working parents here each year.  Until now, there have been no statutory leave or pay entitlements available to a parent/carer following the death of a child.

“We examined this important piece of legislation, listening to the evidence and taking on board the views of those who responded to our consultation. In our report on the Bill, we have strongly suggested that seven important amendments are included. These include making provision for miscarriage, as well as removing the 26-week qualification period, meaning workers are entitled as soon as they start their employment.

“The Committee’s examination of the Bill and its amendments will ensure the compassionate support for parents on the death of a child.  We want to ensure that workers are given adequate time to grieve for the loss of a child and that they are supported by their employer during what must be the most difficult time in their lives.  

“We look forward to the next stage in the Bill’s progress through the Assembly and are confident MLAs will support our amendments, resulting in legislation that works for both bereaved parents, and for employers who administer the statutory entitlements.”

The next stage in the legislative process is Consideration Stage. During this stage, the Committee Chairperson will report the Committee’s findings and proposed amendments to the Assembly during Plenary. MLAs will then vote on all sections of the Bill, including selected amendments.  The Consideration Stage of the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill is scheduled for Tuesday 30th November.



Committee Membership:

Chairperson: Dr Caoimhe Archibald MLA

Deputy Chairperson: Matthew O’Toole MLA


Keith Buchanan MLA

Stewart Dickson MLA

Stephen Dunne MLA

Mike Nesbitt MLA

John O’Dowd MLA

Claire Sugden MLA

Peter Weir MLA

Media enquiries to:

Caroline Moore
Deputy Communications Officer
Northern Ireland Assembly
Phone: 028 9052 1606