What do I need to know about parental bereavement leave?
A workplace right to two week’s paid leave for bereaved parents, carers, adopters, foster parents and guardians.
The leave can be taken in 1 block or in two separate blocks of 1 week within a 56 week window of the child’s death.
When does parental bereavement leave come into force?
The new law will come into force in April 2020.
Who will parental bereavement leave apply to?
Employed parents and primary cares who lose a child under the age of 18 or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
To qualify for two weeks’ paid leave the employee needs to be in continuous employment for 26 weeks with their employer. If they haven’t been employed for the 26 weeks, they will be entitled to 2 weeks unpaid leave.
All employees have a “day one” right to unpaid bereavement leave.
Why has parental bereavement leave been introduced?
This new law honours the government manifesto commitment to introduce a new entitlement to parental bereavement leave.
Why does parental bereavement leave matter?
Sadly the death of a child could be a reality for an employee, and the legislation legally requires employers to ensure employees have the opportunity to take time away from the workplace.
Employers will not be entitled to request a copy of a child’s death certificate as evidence of right to an entitlement.
Employers should note this is a statutory right to leave, whether paid or unpaid will depend on length of service.
Small employers will be able to recover all of the statutory bereavement pay, while larger organisations will be able to reclaim almost all of it.
The employee has the right to keep their bereavement private from work colleagues so this should be handled sensitively.