Changes to cremation regulations in England and Wales

The Government has announced that amendments to regulations regarding cremation in England and Wales will come into force on 1 October – bringing the two nations into line with Scotland.

The Cremation (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 introduces a statutory definition of ashes, something the NAFD called for in the recent consultation.

The definition will be:

““ashes” means all the material left in the cremator after a cremation, and following:

(a) the removal of any metal, and
(b) any subsequent grinding or other process which is applied to the material;”.

Further changes introduced under the amendment to the Cremation (England and Wales) Regulations 2008 were unveiled in a statement by Dr Phillip Lee (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, Minister for Victims, Youth and Family Justice).

The Government has also set up a National Cremation Working Group comprising representatives from the NAFD, SAIF and other funeral director groups, as well as the cremation sector, voluntary organisations supporting bereaved parents, medical professionals and other government departments with an interest in cremation.

Funeral directors have a very important role to play in helping families after the loss of someone close to them and in ensuring they understand their choices and what is happening to their loved one. The Association is pleased to be playing a part in the new working group, ensuring the needs of bereaved families and the funeral directors who support them, remain at the forefront of policy making. The NAFD now looks forward to collaborating with Government, cremation bodes and consumer organisations to ensure this new working group is proactive and delivers meaningful outcomes.