Parents and primary carers who suffer the loss of a child will be now be entitled to at least 2 weeks’ paid parental bereavement leave from April 2020, as confirmed by the government in their recent consultation. The feedback from the consultation highlighted the need to widen the eligibility to receive the entitlement to beyond just parents.
Under the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Act, primary carers (not just parents) will be entitled to time off work following the death of a child. This includes adopters, foster parents and guardians, as well as close relatives or family friends who may have taken responsibility for the child’s care in the absence of parents.
As of April 2020, parents or carers will be entitled to at least 2 weeks’ leave following the loss of a child under the age of 18 or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service will receive paid leave at the statutory rate and other staff will be entitled to unpaid leave.
Leave can either be taken in one block or in two separate blocks of one week. It can be taken within a 56-week window from the child’s death, to take into consideration important moments such as anniversaries, and notice requirements will be flexible so leave can be taken without prior notice.
Parents will not need to provide the employer with a death certificate as evidence.