Government reforms (2): Parental bereavement leave

picture of a sad teddy bear

What do we already know?

We updated you in our September 2018 Newsletter Government reforms (2): Parental Bereavement Leave that the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 is likely to come into force in 2020.

The Act gives bereaved employees who have suffered a loss of a child under 18 years or a still birth from 24 weeks of pregnancy a day-one right to take two weeks’ paid leave. 

What’s new?

The Government has published its response to the public consultation on the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 (available here) and a press release confirming details of the Act (available here).

The response to the consultation provides further details on the new rights:

  • 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 so as 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; and
  • employers will not be entitled to request a copy of death certificate to use as evidence.

The Act will also be extended beyond parents to cover all primary carers for children including:

  • adopters;
  • foster parents;
  • guardians; and
  • kinship carers (those who have assumed responsibility for the care of the child in the absence of parents).

We are still waiting for the regulations to be published which will implement the Act and set out precisely how parental bereavement leave will work and to whom it will apply.