The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 provides new statutory bereavement leave entitlements for bereaved parents which is akin to a hybrid form of paid compassionate leave at a most difficult and stressful time. The new bereavement leave is likely to be regarded by many employers as good practice although it doesn’t come into force until 2020, The Act received Royal Assent in September 2018.
The Act will give all employed parents a statutory right to two weeks’ leave if they lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Employed parents will also be able to claim statutory parental bereavement pay for this period, if they meet the relevant eligibility criteria, which are similar to the eligibility criteria for statutory paternity pay.
Francine Bates, Chief Executive of The Lullaby Trust said:
At The Lullaby Trust we know how devastating the sudden and unexpected death of a baby or a child is for parents.
This new law is a big step forward in recognising the needs of bereaved families in our society and will help to ensure that parents are not unduly pressurised to return to work immediately following the death of their child.
It is expected that the new rights will come into force in 2020 and guidance is available in the Parental Leave Toolkit.