CLIC Sargent welcomes government moves to provide bereavement leave for families who lose a child

A bill aiming to make leave and pay provisions for families who lose a child has been backed by cancer support charity CLIC Sargent.

Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill

On Tuesday, November 29, MPs will consider the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill, which aims to give those families more time to deal with bereavement.

However CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for young cancer patients and their families, believes still more can be done to support those families when the worst happens.

Clare Laxton, Assistant Director for Policy and Influencing at CLIC Sargent, said: “Hearing your child isn’t going to get better and that they are going to die is one of the hardest things any parent will ever have to deal with.

“Every week ten children and young people in the UK die from cancer. Last year we provided bereavement support to families through over 300 visits and gave palliative care to around 250 children and young people.

“We therefore support the introduction of the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill, which will give families more time to deal with bereavement. We call on the government to ensure that this Bill supports bereaved families who may have been supporting their child through many years of cancer care."

The charity has written to MPs scrutinising the Bill, calling on them to consider five areas where improvements can be made to the Bill to ensure that the support families receive really meets their needs.

Funeral costs

Ms Laxton warned that funeral costs still remain a major financial concern for many families dealing with the loss of a child.

“Although help is available through the Social Fund funeral payments scheme, many families are facing high costs for their child’s funeral – often after experiencing the increase in costs of their child’s illness and treatment.

“CLIC Sargent continues to call for a national Children’s Funeral Fund to further support families at this difficult time.”

For more information please contact the CLIC Sargent press team on 020 8752 2812 or email Out of hours please call 08448 481189.