Edward has spoken in the House of Commons in support of Kevin Hollinrake MP's Private Members Bill to provide for parental bereavement leave on the death of a child, which passed its Second Reading today.
Edward was also in Parliament to show his full support for Chris Bryant MP's Bill to put in place tougher penalties for people who assault emergency workers while on duty, which also passed its Second Reading.
Mr Hollinrake's Bill aims to give parents two weeks of paid leave if they lose a child under the age of 18, to give them time to grieve, as well as to make necessary arrangements. While many employers already do the right thing and voluntarily give employees in this dreadful situation paid leave, sadly some do not do so, and this Bill, if enacted, would put this new entitlement in to law.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Edward said: "..... the circumstances that this Bill addresses must be every person’s worst nightmare. We have heard, rightly, that many employers do a fantastic and compassionate job in such circumstances—we should pay tribute to them—but we have also heard, sadly, that there are some who do not. We heard an example this morning, I think from my hon. Friend the Member for Colchester, that to my mind was inexcusable. There will be others who, probably unintentionally and through no ill intent, place a burden on people in this situation. This Bill seeks to help to build the sort of society and the sort of compassionate approach that we all wish to see. It provides time and space for bereaved parents not only to make the tragic and necessary arrangements but to grieve and to try to begin coming to terms with what has happened.......I hope it is not only a hugely important step in its own right but part of broader progress on the issue and on what we do to support people in such circumstances.......The Bill strikes the right balance between employers and employees. It reflects the compassion and the sort of society that all of us in this Chamber and in this country, regardless of the political disagreements we may have, would wish to see. The Bill’s time has come, and I am proud to support it wholeheartedly, as I am sure are all other hon. Members."