Mum launches second e-petition trying to change bereavement lawsBy Julie Spencer
November 28, 2012
A mum whose young son drowned in a garden pond has launched another e-petition to call on the Government to increase bereavement leave for parents.
Lucy Herd’s last petition received 6,000 names but was blighted by technical problems which she said stopped people from signing up. The new petition, which needs 100,000 signatures if her cause is to be considered for debate in Parliament, is her latest move to force employers to give staff at least four weeks away from work if their child dies suddenly.
She launched her campaign after her 23-month-old son Jack died in 2010 and her former partner had to take sick leave or holiday if he wanted more than three days off work.
Her campaign is gathering support from some MPs and members of the House of Lords and she hopes a statutory period of bereavement leave could be introduced as an amendment to the new Children and Families Bill.
The Bill, introduced in the Queen’s Speech in May, was heralded by the Government as putting families ‘front and centre of national life’.
Lucy, from Owlsmoor in Sandhurst, said: “At the moment there is no statutory obligation and while some companies are lovely, unfortunately the majority don’t seem to be.
“I need the powers that be to make the decisions.
“David Cameron is a prime example. He lost a child and was given two weeks off and when asked ‘did you take enough time off’ he said no.
“The new Families Bill comes in January and I am pinning my hopes on that.”
Lucy, who has two other children, said that the employers’ organisation, the CBI, was supportive and had asked for a meeting to hear her ideas.
Lucy has also been contacted by American bereavement rights activist Barry Kluger who has invited her to set up a UK branch of the US-based MISS Organisation, which offers crisis support and long-term aid to parents who lose a child.
To sign the petition go to http://t.co/9ZKRWEtm