An organisation that supports people through grief has launched a petition calling for statutory bereavement leave

Carole Henderson is a Grief Recovery Specialist

Carole Henderson is a Grief Recovery Specialist - Credit: Archant

A organisation based in Ellington is urging people to sign a petition calling for statutory bereavement leave after the death of a spouse or life partner.

Grief Recovery UK is a not-for-profit training organisation for people suffering with loss or bereavement and for those who want to support others through the grieving process.

The company was launched by Carole Henderson in 2010 and she set up the petition due to her concerns that some people are forced to return to work too soon after a loss.

“At the current time, paid leave is down to employers and what we’ve found through our work is that most people only get offered three to five days’ paid leave. Many feel pressured into going back to work before they’ve even had the funeral due to financial worries.”

The petition is calling for two weeks’ statutory bereavement leave on the death of a spouse or life partner and more than 3,000 people have signed it already.

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Carole trained in the US to become a Grief Recovery Specialist and now uses the programme to train people herself. She says launching her business “made sense” after the “earth shattering” loss of her husband in 2006.

“Setting up a grief counselling business was the first thing that made sense and meant I could get on with my life,” she said.

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The law says that legally companies have to offer some compassionate leave, but they do not have to pay employees.

“There are a lot of good employers out there, but we still have a long way to go,” explainedCarole.

“Even two weeks is not enough for some people, but it is better than what we have now. We are appealing to the government to offer statutory leave so that smaller companies are not out of pocket. Some people have told us they end up going to their GP to be signed off so they don’t have to go back to work.”

There is currently an Early Day Motion going through the Commons to offer statutory paid leave to parents for the death of a child, but Carole would like to see this extended.

“There is also an argument to ask ‘how productive is someone in the days after a loss’. Some people will cope really well and want to come back to work but others just need a bit more time.”

Carole has now trained more than 300 people to be Grief Recovery Specialists, of which there are seven in Cambridgeshire, and globally more than 7,000.

Sign the petition to legislate for 14 days statutory bereavement leave on the death of a spouse/life partner at:

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