The Parental Bereavement Legislation

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The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018

The Parental Bereavement Act 2018 legislation, which received Royal Assent in September 2018 comes into force from 6 April 2020. The Act introduces the framework for the new statutory right to two weeks of leave when an employee suffers the loss of a child, either through stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy or the death of a child under the age of 18.

This is a day-one right and the leave can be taken either as one single block of leave or two separate blocks of one week of leave which must be taken within 56 weeks following the death of their child.

Some further guidance is still awaited but it is expected that the right will apply to the following categories of employees:

  • Birth parents
  • Adoptive parents
  • Legal guardians
  • Those with court orders providing care responsibilities
  • Foster patents (although it may not include emergency foster care)
  • Kinship carers (a term used for the raising of children by grandparents, other extended family members, and adults with whom they have a close family-like relationship such as godparents and close family friends because their biological parents are unable to do so for whatever reason)

In addition to leave, employees with 26 weeks or more continuous service will be eligible for payment of statutory bereavement leave pay which is expected to be paid at the same rate as paternity leave which is set to rise to £151.20 from 5 April 2020.

It should be noted that this benefit is in addition to the current suite of benefits, e.g. the right to take time off for dependants to deal with emergencies, etc.

Furthermore, if employees do wish to have time away from work immediately following the death as bereavement leave, they will have an initial period of which no formal notice is required, although they will need to tell the organisation informally.  The length of this period is also yet to be confirmed.

Notwithstanding the foregoing minimum requirements, employers will have their own views and we are here to support you manage these devastating situations.

For further information and advice regarding this new legislation and the process, please do not hesitate to contact us on: