An Update on the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill

The Bill received Royal Assent at the beginning of September 2018 and has now become the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act.

  • Expected to come into force in 2020
  • It will only apply to Great Britain
  • Currently there is no statutory entitlement to any form of bereavement leave or pay for employees.

Provisions of the Act

  • A minimum of two weeks leave, pro-rata for part time employees.
  • Leave is available irrespective of length of service to employed parents who lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Parents whose average earnings over a set reference period meet the Lower Earnings Level and have at least 26 weeks continuous service will be entitled to receive Parental Bereavement Pay at the statutory flat rate.
    • The length of employment will begin from the end of the week before the week of the child’s death.
    • Employers will be able to claim a portion of Parental Bereavement Pay back as with other current statutory payments.
    • The statutory flat rate will be paid to the employee, or 90% of an employee’s average pay, whichever is lower.
    • The employee has the right to return to work under the same terms and conditions.

Discussion areas

There are a few areas that are still under government consultation relating to this Act.

  • The definition of a Bereaved Parent is being debated and may include Grandparents who care for a child full time and Foster Parents who lose a child who has been in their long-term care, for example.
  • How and when employees can take this leave is also still being discussed along with the time period for taking the leave. The bill currently states 56 days or 8 weeks, however there have been suggestions to extend this.
  • Notice periods and whether any evidence is needed from an employee to take this leave is also still being discussed.

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