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New Parental Bereavement Leave for Employees

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The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 is due to come into effect in 2020.

The new legislation gives employees who lose a child under the age of 18 or a stillborn from 24 weeks of pregnancy, a day one right to two weeks leave. Subject to specified criteria, parents will also be entitled to be paid during the time off. The leave will be in respect of each child and must be taken before the end of a period of at least 56 days beginning with the date of the child’s death.​

Eligibility conditions for paid parental bereavement leave

Conditions for statutory parental bereavement pay will include:

  1. the employee being the bereaved parent;
  2. the employee being employed for a period of at least 26 weeks ending with the relevant week;
  3. in the relevant week the employee was entitled to the employment; and
  4. the employee’s weekly earnings for the period of 8 weeks are not less than the lower earnings limit in force.

The new Act acknowledges that employees need the time to grieve and are given the space to do so without the pressure of work.

Action

Most employers currently provide for some paid bereavement leave for employees despite there being no statutory obligation to do so although the amount varies. Often this is granted on a case by case basis and is less than 2 weeks. It is likely that most employers will need to review their policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the new legislation. Regulations and guidance are expected in due course.

At Gepp Solicitors our Employment Law Team will be happy to assist you with any aspect of employment law. If you seek advice, please contact our Head of Department, Alexandra Dean on 01245 228141 or via deana@gepp.co.uk.

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.