Progress to date

New legislation must require that all employers have a bereavement policy. Relevant government departments should publish guidance on minimum standards and best practice for large, medium-sized and small employers

While there are initiatives of good practice across the sector, including a focus on workplace support for Dying Matters Week 2023, there remains a lack of leadership from government and no statutory requirement to have a policy in place.

Statutory bereavement leave and pay entitlement of 2 weeks must be extended to encompass all close relationships

Patricia Gibson MP’s Private Member’s Bill to extend Statutory Bereavement Leave had its second reading in January 2022 but did not progress.

All education establishments (early years, schools and further and higher education) must be required to have a bereavement policy including staff training, and a process for supporting a bereaved child or young person and their family

Baroness Warwick of Undercliffe asked an Oral Question about bereavement support in schools on 6 Feb 2023, highlighting the continued challenges that children and young people experience at school when faced with bereavement. The lack of guidance and leadership from governments across the UK means there is great inconsistency between (and within) schools and other education establishments.

However, in NI there has been significant activity in delivering grassroots training to teachers across schools, with broad buy in from the Education and Health sector.