Government publishes details of parental bereavement entitlement

The government has published details of the new parental bereavement entitlement for parents and carers who have lost a child.

The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Act, which is expected to come into force in 2020, ensures bereaved employees who lose a child under 18 will receive 2 weeks’ leave as a day-one right.

Employees will not have to give notice for leave immediately after a loss or need to supply a copy of a death certificate to use as evidence

Ministers have also confirmed that eligibility will be widened beyond parents to all primary carers for children, including adopters, foster parents and guardians.

It will also cover more informal groups such as kinship carers, who may be a close relative or family friend and have assumed responsibility for the care of the child in the absence of the parents.

Eligible employees will also receive 2 weeks statutory pay. This is the first law of its kind the UK.

These are the main points on how the new right will work:

  • leave can be taken either in 1 block (of 1 or 2 weeks) or as 2 separate blocks of 1 week
  • leave and pay can be taken within a 56-week window from the child’s death to allow time for important moments such as anniversaries
  • notice requirements will be flexible so that leave can be taken without prior notice very soon after the child’s death
  • employers will not be entitled to request a copy of death certificate to use as evidence.

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