A new workplace right is being introduced which entitles parents who lose a child under 18 years of age to paid bereavement leave. The right also extends to parents who lose a child after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Royal assent was given to the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act in September last year, and is now in the midst of having all the details worked out in order for it to be presented to parliament. Currently, the act is set to pass on 6 April.
The act states that two weeks of leave will be given to employed parents who lose a child as a ‘day-one’ right. If the said parent has been at that place of work for at least 26 weeks and earns more than the Lower Earnings Limit, this leave will be paid at a flat rate of £145.18 per week. If this is more than the average earnings of the employee, they are paid 90 per cent of their average wage.
It is not necessarily only parents that are entitled to the bereavement leave and pay in the act. As long as the employee is the child’s legal guardian or primary carer, they too will be entitled.
Parents deemed eligible will be allowed to take the two week’s leave and pay all at once or split it into two one week blocks. They can do this within a 56-week window from the date of the child’s death, which will allow them to take the leave when they need it most throughout that time.
If the leave is taken within a short time after the date of the child’s death, the employee need not give any notice before taking it, although they will need to inform their employer of their absence. Notice will need to be given after this time.
Notice will need to be given for pay, however, to allow employers to process requests.
If you require any more information or advice regarding this, please contact MD Consulting.