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The Parental Bereavement (Leave & Pay) Act 2018


Supporting employees through the loss of a child

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 comes into force in 2020. The Act supports families who suffer the loss of a child aged under 18 years or a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy though the right to take two weeks paid leave within a 56-week window. The legislation focuses on leave and pay but this is also an opportunity for employers to review their policies and the support that they can offer.


Although the legislation is welcomed, its shortfalls are raised by the charity The Compassionate Friends who would like to see the entitlement to bereavement pay and leave extended and broadened.


According to Child Bereavement UK, there is a 44% increase in sickness absence following bereavement. Workplace support is often lacking for the bereaved employee whose work performance can be understandably severely impacted.


Furthermore, the charity reveals that one third of employees who had been bereaved in the last five years did not feel they had received a compassionate response from their employer, four in ten felt isolated at work and 46% felt actively avoided.


Grief is experienced in very individual and unpredictable ways, there is no right or wrong way and it is an ongoing process; workplace support may be necessary for a bereaved employee for many months or even years, and with this in mind employers should aim to be flexible in their approach.

For example, some people may feel they are not able to return to the role they were doing before. Their role might be customer-facing or working with children and it is vital that employers understand each individual situation. Managers should be trained, policies should be in place, approaches and preferred modes of communication should be addressed sensitively. Employers could consider offering flexible or part time working if the employee isn’t ready to return to full time work, a period of special leave or a career break.

Employers with access to Occupational Health or Employment Assistance Programme services may wish to guide their employees for support.

Click here for full guidance.


Welding Fumes


Protect your workers


Following new scientific evidence from the International Agency for Research on Cancer that exposure to mild steel welding fume can cause lung cancer, and possibly kidney cancer, the HSE has revised its enforcement expectations in relation to the control of exposure of welding fume, including that from mild steel welding and employers are obliged to ensure they comply with health & safety law. From January 2020 the HSE will be visiting businesses to check compliance.

Click here for full guidance.


Click here to see the HSE revised guidance.

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Health & Safety Executive


Extract from their summary of statistics

  • £5.2billion-annual costs of workplace injury 2017/18
  • 2526-deaths from mesothelioma in 2017
  • 12,000 deaths each year due to lung disease estimated linked to work exposure in the past
  • 4.7million working days lost due to non-fatal workplace injuries

Click here to see the full report.

  Health and Safety at Work  

The Impact of Menopause at Work



Employers are encouraged to review their internal guidance or even to develop policies in order to offer awareness and support to female employees experiencing menopause and managers.


In 2019 there were 4.3 million employed women aged 45-60 in the United Kingdom, the average age of menopause is 51 years.


The effects of the menopause are widely variable but around one third of women will experience severe symptoms. Most commonly experienced difficulties include impaired concentration, poor memory, low mood or depression, anxiety, reduced self-confidence, insomnia and physical manifestations such as hot flushes.


Employers are encouraged to:

  • Offer information on the effects of the different stages of the menopause.
  • Raise awareness for all staff including women and line managers-women can be embarrassed to talk about the difficulties they are experiencing.
  • Educate managers how to have sensitive conversations.
  • Consider the legal aspects - duty of care to look after the health safety and wellbeing of their staff and considerations with reference to the Equality Act 2010 as the menopause can have significant effects lasting for more than 12 months.
  • Consider how workplace adjustments- for example flexible working, or adjustments to sickness absence procedures to allow time off for health appointments, to consider the physical work environment too, for example the provision of a desk fan, or consider location of the workstation-does it need to be nearer a window or closer to the WC?
  • And employers should look at how they can provide support- consider having a nominated person within the organisation and make information available about where a woman can go for advice, guidance or support.

Click here to find out how you can support your employees (ACAS).


Click here for printable resources (CIPD).


  Menopause Sign  

Health & Wellbeing Promotion Events




Time to Talk Day 6th February (Downloadable Resources)


World Oral Health Day 20th March


Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month March



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