News & Insights

Parental bereavement leave update

Christian Meredith summarises the new rules on parental bereavement leave.

Two new sets of regulations relating to paid parental bereavement leave have been laid before Parliament.  They are:

  • the Parental Bereavement Leave Regulations 2020, and
  • the Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay (General) Regulations 2020.

They respectively govern the right to leave and right to pay during any such leave and due to come into force on 6 April 2020.

From 6 April 2020 these new regulations will provide, in the words of the government press release, “a statutory right to a minimum of 2 weeks’ leave for all employed parents if they lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy, irrespective of how long they have worked for their employer.”  This leave can be taken in one block or two separate blocks lasting 1 week each. It must be taken within 56 weeks of the date of the child’s death and employees must also comply with simple notice requirements, although the legislation does allow for short notice.

The right to receive statutory pay during such leave, on the other hand, will be subject to the employee satisfying a few eligibility criteria. They must have at least 26 weeks’ continuous employment and meet minimum earnings criteria.  Eligible employees would then qualify for the same rate of pay as that of statutory paternity pay (which will be £151.20 a week from April 2020, or 90% of weekly earnings if this is lower).  Employees who do not satisfy these criteria will only be entitled to take unpaid leave.

If you would like any advice on this new type of leave or any assistance in updating your family friendly policies please just let us know.