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New rights for grieving parents is ‘fantastic news’, says Colchester election candidate Will Quince

PUBLISHED: 17:15 15 May 2017 | UPDATED: 17:40 15 May 2017

Will Quince, Colchester MP, addresses a National Citizen Service event

Will Quince, Colchester MP, addresses a National Citizen Service event

Archant

An election candidate whose son was stillborn has welcomed proposals to grant parents paid leave from work if a child dies.

Conservative Will Quince, who won the Colchester seat in 2015, said the move which he had campaigned for would stop “unscrupulous” employers forcing grieving parents back to work early. His son was stillborn in 2014.

Mr Quince, who is standing again, said he had heard of some bosses telling people they could have “a day off for the funeral but nothing more” after suffering the death of a child.

“For me personally this is fantastic news,” Mr Quince said. “These are issues which I have campaigned long and hard for and hopefully these proposals will soon make a huge difference to people.

“I have heard dreadful stories about unscrupulous bosses not offering any time off apart from the funeral. That cannot go on.

“It must be a personal decision. Some people will need as much time as possible and others may want to get back to work sooner.”

The current law states parents of children who die before they are six months old are still entitled to the rest of their maternity or paternity leave. However the only recommendation currently to employers for any other staff members whose child dies is to offer a “reasonable amount of time”.

The announcement is part of a raft of proposals on workers’ rights included in the Conservative manifesto to be released later this week. Other proposals include guaranteeing workers will keep the same rights post-Brexit, new rules to protect pensions and rights for people who work in the so-called “gig” economy. The move marks a clear grab at votes that would traditionally go to Labour.

Mr Quince added: “I think the manifesto will be well received. In my mind the Conservatives have always been the party of both business and the workers and these measures prove that beyond doubt.”

The other candidates in Colchester are: Tim Young, Labour; Sir Bob Russell, Lib Dem; Mark Goacher, Green; Robin Rennie, Christian People’s Alliance.

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