As we look ahead to 2020, we expect the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Act to come into force in April. There is currently no specific provision for a parent to receive time off or pay if their child dies. The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Act provides a right to two weeks of time away from work for those employees who have lost a child under 18. The Act is the outcome of a private member’s bill brought forward by MP Kevin Hollinrake in consultation with his colleague Will Quince, whose son was stillborn at full term in October 2014.
Bereavement Leave – What Employers Need to Know
- Whilst in practice most employers are compassionate and flexible at such a difficult time and the majority would already not expect to see an employee at work when a child of theirs had just died, there has previously been no legal requirement for employers to provide paid time off for grieving parents. The Act applies to any qualifying parent whose child (under the age of 18) dies or who suffers a still-birth from 24 weeks of pregnancy.
- The Act will give a day one right of parental bereavement leave to all employees and the right to statutory parental bereavement pay to those with at least 26 weeks continuous service and average earnings at or above the lower earnings limit, this is currently £118 pw, however this is likely to increase in April.
- The leave needs to be taken within 56 days of the death of the child. The leave entitlement is up to two weeks’ leave taken as two single weeks or one block of two weeks.
- The amount to be paid is likely to follow the pattern of Statutory Maternity Pay, Adoption Pay and Paternity Pay, at current rates it would be £148.68 per week, or 90% of gross earnings, whichever is less, again this is likely to increase in April along with other statutory payments.
If you need guidance with the new regulations and any impact on your business contact our FREE HR Advice Line so our HR Consultants can guide you through the right process to follow.