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Tóibín introduces legislation providing for paid bereavement leave

18 June, 2015

Sinn Fein TD Peadar Tóibín today introduced legislation in the Dáil to provide for paid bereavement leave for employees that reflects existing practices by public and private employers.  

The Meath West TD said:

“It will come as a surprise to many that there is currently no legislative provision for bereavement leave.

“Whilst the public sector provides for such leave, and employers in the private sector in the round take compassionate approach when a member of staff loses a family member, there remains a grey area in the law.

“This is not helpful to employers or to their staff.

“It appears that employers who do provide bereavement leave base their arrangements on the ‘force majeure’ provision in the Parental Leave Act.

 “Force majeure provides an entitlement to specified and limited leave in the event of a family crisis, but does not give any entitlement to leave following the death of family member. 

“When a death occurs employees are understandably unsure of what their leave entitlements are, particularly in sectors where employment is casual or temporary. 

“This is a deeply unjust position to place employees in during what is for people a deeply distressing and difficult time in their lives.

“Providing for limited paid bereavement leave in legislation that reflects currents practices is a compassionate and responsible measure for legislators to take, and clarifies rights and entitlements for employers and employees alike.” 

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