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National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £35 million a year

A ‘step in the right direction’ for bereaved parents

A bereaved mum, who lost her 11-year-old son to a brain tumour, is welcoming the news that parents who suffer the devastating loss of a child will be entitled to two weeks’ statutory leave.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom announced today that the UK will introduce a new legal right to paid parental bereavement leave for working parents who lose a child under the age of 18.

Fin Church, from Alvechurch, West Midlands, died from an aggressive grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in November 2015, 17 months after his diagnosis. His mum Penny said: “We welcome the news that there is increased recognition for bereaved parents to be formally allowed time off work, to try to start to cope with their loss. It is definitely a step in the right direction but we hope that employers will treat this as a minimum.

“Two weeks is not enough time to begin to function after the loss of a child. My husband Wayne and I were very fortunate and will be eternally grateful for the support we had from work when Fin passed away – we were given as much time as we needed. I find it heart-breaking to hear stories where this is not the case.”

The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations will be known as ‘Jack’s Law’ in memory of Jack Herd, whose mother Lucy campaigned tirelessly on the issue. The statutory right to a minimum of two weeks’ leave will apply to all employed parents, if they lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy, irrespective of how long they have worked for their employer.

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