Bereaved children and their parents losing out

A year ago Siobhan McLaughlin won her case in the Supreme Court. The Court ruled that denying her Widowed Parent’s Allowance after the death of her partner of 23 years was incompatible with her and her children’s human rights.

Despite losing the case and acknowledging that it has incompatible legislation on the statute books, the Government still has not acted to put this injustice right.

Alison Penny, Director of the Childhood Bereavement Network said

We intervened in Siobhan McLaughlin’s case last year because we didn’t think it was fair that grieving children were losing out on support because their parents hadn’t got married.

We were delighted when the Supreme Court ruled that the Government’s restrictive criteria for Widowed Parent’s Allowance were incompatible with human rights law. We never dreamed that a year on, the Government would still be dragging its heels rather than putting things right.

We urge the Government to amend legislation as quickly as possible, and to clarify the position for those parents who were previously deemed ineligible because of their marital status. The longer the delay, the longer that thousands of grieving children and their parents are trapped in limbo.

The Childhood Bereavement Network and the Child Poverty Action Group have written a note for parents about what Siobhan McLaughlin’s case means for them. Read more: