Financial & Legal News

Bereaved father secures change to employment law

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When a young father lost his wife during childbirth he was left without the automatic right to parental leave, so at the same time as bringing up a new born baby, he had to challenge the existing UK employment laws.

It was deemed that because the father had worked for his company for less than nine months, under previous employment law he did not have the automatic right to paternity or parental leave.

Changes to Parental Leave

With a new born baby to care for and the grief of losing a partner to cope with he decided to successfully tackle the British legal system.  On the last day of this Parliament the Paternity Leave (bereavement) Bill was passed that will now ensure any bereaved non-birthing partner in the same situation will automatically get the right to parental leave.

“This Bill has clarified that the intention is for bereaved fathers and partners to be entitled to 52 week’s leave on the death of a child’s mother (or adoptive parent) even when they do not have the usual 26 week minimum services requirement,” confirmed Susan Mayall, Partner and Employment Law Solicitor at Pearson Solicitors.

“This new law, whilst affecting a small number of parents who are experiencing devastating circumstances, is a sensible and welcome extension to family friendly rights,” she added.

Parental Leave for Adopted Child

Additionally, any bereaved parent of an adopted child, or a child born through a surrogacy arrangement, will also fall within the scope of the new provisions.

In this case, the tragic death of his wife and mother to his son, and the legal campaign he embarked upon began in 2022, the new law just made it through before the proroguing of Parliament, when in agreement with the opposition any remaining legislation is pushed through before the end of the Parliament’s term.

How can we help

For legal advice on all aspects of Employment Law contact the Pearson Employment Solicitors on 0161 785 3500 or email at

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

Written by Susan Mayall

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