New rules on bereavement leave where a parent suffers the loss of their child have recently been announced.
Currently, grieving parents have to rely on the right to take time off work under the “time off for dependents” rules, which allows limited amounts of unpaid leave. When the new regime comes into force, those parents may instead be entitled to take two weeks of paid leave. The exact details have not yet been given so the amount of pay, who qualifies and how it will work in practice all remain unknown at present. However, it is a welcome new employment right that many have been campaigning for and it is expected to be in place in 2020.
The new Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Act will give all employed parents a day-one right to 2 weeks’ leave if they lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. Employed parents will also be able to claim pay for this period, subject to meeting eligibility criteria.