Government publishes parental bereavement leave bill

On 13th October 2017, the government published the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill. The bill allows two weeks’ paid leave for employed parents that have lost a child under 18, and is irrespective of the parents’ length of service.

As well as this, if the parent has had at least 26 weeks’ continuous service, they will be entitled to receive statutory parental bereavement pay. Employers can claim some, or all, of this cost from the government.

Currently, there is no legal requirement of employers to offer grieving parents time off work, although it is expected that many employers should be understanding to the parent’s difficult situation. The bill will go significantly further than most other countries in that it extends parental leave to not only the birth, but also the death, of a child.

The second reading of the bill in Parliament will take place on 20 October 2017, with a view to becoming law in 2020.

If you’re affected by issues raised above, or for expert employment advice, you can contact Alison here.

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