Skip to main content
We’re here with practical legal information for your business. Learn about employment law, company law and more.


Setting up a business involves complying with a range of legal requirements. Find out which ones apply to you and your new enterprise.

What particular regulations do specific types of business (such as a hotel, or a printer, or a taxi firm) need to follow? We explain some of the key legal issues to consider for 200 types of business.

While poor governance can bring serious legal consequences, the law can also protect business owners and managers and help to prevent conflict.

Whether you want to raise finance, join forces with someone else, buy or sell a business, it pays to be aware of the legal implications.

From pay, hours and time off to discipline, grievance and hiring and firing employees, find out about your legal responsibilities as an employer.

Marketing matters. Marketing drives sales for businesses of all sizes by ensuring that customers think of their brand when they want to buy.

Commercial disputes can prove time-consuming, stressful and expensive, but having robust legal agreements can help to prevent them from occurring.

Whether your business owns or rents premises, your legal liabilities can be substantial. Commercial property law is complex, but you can avoid common pitfalls.

With information and sound advice, living up to your legal responsibilities to safeguard your employees, customers and visitors need not be difficult or costly.

As information technology continues to evolve, legislation must also change. It affects everything from data protection and online selling to internet policies for employees.

Intellectual property (IP) isn't solely relevant to larger businesses or those involved in developing innovative new products: all products have IP.

Knowing how and when you plan to sell or relinquish control of your business can help you to make better decisions and achieve the best possible outcome.

From bereavement, wills, inheritance, separation and divorce to selling a house, personal injury and traffic offences, learn more about your personal legal rights.

Being a compassionate employer - what parental bereavement leave means for businesses

It is hard to imagine the pain of losing a child and the impact it is has on a person. Grief can affect everyone differently, so, when one of your employees suffers a loss it can often be difficult to know how to handle the situation. With just under a year to go before the implementation of new legislation for bereaved parents and primary carers, what does it mean for businesses?

The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Act

According to charity, Tommy’s, the UK has one of the highest stillbirth rates in Europe, with nine babies stillborn every day. While difficult, it is therefore an issue that cannot be ignored, especially within the workplace.

Under proposals laid out by the government, which are due to be rolled out in April 2020, bereaved parents will be entitled to at least two weeks’ paid leave following the loss of a child under the age of 18 or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Most importantly for many, however, is the added inclusion of primary carers in the proposals. Following feedback from a recent consultation, under the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Act, adopters, foster parents and guardians, as well as those who may have taken responsibility for the child’s care in the absence of parents, such as close relatives or family friends, will have the same rights as biological parents.

Compassionate leave schemes

While many companies already offer their own compassionate leave schemes, the plans have been welcomed by charities such as The Lullaby Trust, who have praised the inclusion of carers and highlighted the importance of offering time and flexibility to bereaved parents.

The time off can be taken in either a single two-week block or as two one-week periods, within 56 weeks of the child’s death, allowing people to take the time when they need it, such as anniversaries or other prominent dates.

Although the proposals aren’t due to be formally rolled out until April 2020, it provides an opportunity for many companies and organisations to either review their current compassionate leave schemes or create a scheme around parental bereavement. There are many ways in which companies can support employees who may have experienced the loss of a child.

The two weeks outlined in the new Act constitutes the minimum time allowed to employees, but it is important to recognise that some people may need longer to come to terms with the loss - for some, this could be a few more weeks or even months.

Supporting employee wellbeing

Looking after an employee’s wellbeing is important at the best of times, but where an employee is experiencing a loss such as this, it is even more crucial that the right support is in place.

Once an employee is ready to return to work, invest the time to support them through that transition. While on the surface it may have only been a matter of weeks, or even days, since they were last in the office, remember that for them their life has changed irrevocably.

Having the right support in place, from both managers and colleagues, is crucial so a person feels safe and secure in the workplace. Just because a person has returned to work, it doesn’t necessarily mean their grief has subsided and they may still have periods during which they struggle with their mental wellbeing.

Feelings of isolation are a common side-effect of child loss and, if left undisclosed, these feelings can easily develop into anxiety or depression.

Staff engagement is a key aspect of people management under any circumstances and it is important to maintain that relationship with your employee when they return to work after any period of time off. While it can be difficult to know how to speak to someone who has lost a child or to worry about saying the wrong thing, ignoring the issue can exacerbate those feelings of isolation and worthlessness, making the person no longer feel a valued part of the team.

Hosting regular one-to-ones with your employee can highlight any potential problems before they arise. A person may need extra time off or simply feel reassured in the knowledge that they can speak to someone in confidence and receive the support they need during the times they may be struggling.

While the new government Act provides a solid groundwork for businesses in determining a policy which supports people who have experienced the loss of a child or stillbirth, it is still the bare minimum, and much can be done now before the legislation is officially rolled out.

It is important to make sure that any policy provides the best support for all those involved and to recognise that grief is a process. An effective policy must look after an employee’s wellbeing in the long term; not just in the immediate aftermath but also once they have returned to work to help bring them back to their full potential.

Sponsored post. Copyright © 2019 Kirsten Cluer, HR consultant and owner of Cluer HR

Stay up-to-date with business advice and news

Sign up to this lively and colourful newsletter for new and more established small businesses.