New right to bereavement leave from 2020
Parents who lose a child under the age of 18 are to be entitled to two weeks’ bereavement leave. Parents who suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy will also be entitled to the leave.
The new right will be available to all employees as a day-one right. Bereaved parents will also be entitled to statutory bereavement pay, subject to meeting eligibility criteria, similar to those for statutory paternity pay. This means that employees will need 26 weeks’ service in order for the leave to be paid. The rate of pay will be set out in Regulations but is expected to be the same as for statutory paternity pay i.e. at the prescribed rate or 90% of earnings, if lower.
Further details, including when the leave may be taken, the required relationship with the child who has died and how the right must be exercised will be contained in regulations. However, the leave will have to be taken within 56 days of the child’s death unless the Government prescribes a longer period.
The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 received Royal Assent on 13 September but the right is not expected to come into force until 2020.
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