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Legal help and Inquests

Legal help for TCF members and Inquests

TCF have produced 3 factsheets about inquests in England and Wales.

  • Part 1 gives a brief OVERVIEW of the inquest process and who is involved.
  • Part 2 offers detailed advice on PREPARATION, including getting legal and other support.
  • See Part 3 gives an explanation of what happens on THE DAY.

For information on SCOTLAND please see The Investigation of Sudden and Unexplained Deaths in Scotland.

 

For advice or advocacy about all legal matters solicitor Sefton Kwasnik, head of the PI Department and Health and Safety at BPS solicitors in Manchester, would be happy to offer a confidential service on a no obligation basis. He is familiar with many of the issues that death may raise and has extensive experience of dealing with the police and coroners. He can be contacted by text/mobile on 07836 630889 or at legalhelp@tcf.org.uk or sefton.kwasnik@bpslaw.co.uk.

Sefton has accumulated a wealth of experience in actually appearing with bereaved families at inquests and in 2016 alone he has represented, amongst others, for the mum of a 4 year old child who drowned in a swimming pool; the parents of a 15 year old girl who lost their daughter in a railway incident; a mum who lost her daughter following a faulty diabetic product; a mum, twin and two other sisters of a woman who was failed by the mental health services; and the parents of final year university student who was the subject of bullying from his tutor; as well as the daughter of a mum who was crossing the road when struck by a speeding vehicle where the police have failed to prosecute.

Recognising the sensitive needs of the family, Sefton can oversee and handle the whole inquest process from start to finish, to ease anxiety and to secure maximum outcomes.

 

Advice on inquests held in the Coroner’s Court: If you would like advice about attending a Coroner’s Court, the procedure involved and matters in general concerning your child’s inquest, Andrew Miller, a lawyer and TCF Trustee, would be happy to provide free and confidential legal advice on your child’s inquest or simply take you through the procedure that is likely to be followed at the inquest. He can be contacted at amiller@2tg.co.uk

 

 

Employment rights when your baby is stillborn or dies soon after birth

The law recognises the pain and distress that bereaved parents are experiencing and employees qualify for leave or pay if the baby is stillborn after the start of the 24th week of pregnancy or dies after being born. Statutory Maternity and Paternity Leave rights are not affected. You will not be expected to go back to work earlier than you had planned nor will you lose any pay.

Inflexible statutory rules

Unfortunately the rules regarding the death of the child are rather inflexible. One can only hope for flexible and understanding employers.

Shared parental leave and/or pay will not be allowed if the child dies before parents have opted into this arrangement. This is because one of the qualifying conditions is having shared responsibility for the care of the child. If there is no child to care for, the mother remains entitled to maternity leave and pay and the father is entitled to paternity leave/pay.

If the child dies after parents have opted into shared parental leave and/or pay, they each continue to be entitled to take the leave and pay that they booked before the death.

An employee may reduce or cancel a period of leave booked, subject to 8 weeks’ notice.

Advice about employment rights for TCF members

If you need advice or advocacy about your employment rights following the loss of a pre-natal or very early infant death, TCF member and Employment Law specialist Patrick Roberts would be happy to help. He can be contacted at postmaster@patrickroberts.force9.co.uk or 07584 302915.

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Each year thousands of parents suffer the loss of a son or a daughter. Please help us to support families in their time of greatest need.

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