Parents and primary carers who suffer the loss of a child will be entitled to at least two weeks’ paid parental bereavement leave from April 2020 subject to Royal Assent.
Under the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Act, primary carers – not just parents – will be entitled to time off work following the death of a child. This includes adopters, foster parents and guardians, as well as more informal groups such as close relatives or family friends who have taken responsibility for the child’s care in the absence of parents.
Two weeks leave entitlement
Parents or carers will be entitled to at least two weeks leave following the loss of a child under the age of 18 or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service will receive paid leave at the statutory rate and other staff will be entitled to unpaid leave.
It is expected that leave can be taken in one block or in two separate blocks of one week. It can be taken at any time up to the 56th week following the death of the child. This is in order to allow time for moments such as an anniversary or birthday.
Notice requirements will be flexible so leave can be taken without prior notice.