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Parental bereavement bill receives Royal Assent

20 September 2018

An Act that will give all employed parents a statutory right to two weeks’ paid leave if they lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy has received Royal Assent. The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 (the Act) provides that:

  • the leave must be taken within 56 days of the child’s death and in blocks of 1 week (continuous or discontinuous)
  • leave can be taken in respect of each child, where the death of more than one child is involved
  • the rules about rights during maternity leave (and other family leave) generally also apply during bereavement leave
  • the Regulations will set the process to follow and the rates of pay but a parent must have at least 26 weeks’ service and received pay above the lower earnings limit for the last 8 weeks.

The draft wording of the regulations under the Act has not yet been published. The Government expects to be introducing the Regulations and bringing the Act fully into force by April 2020.

When further details are announced employers will need to consider how it will integrate the rules into its organisation and potentially preparing a written policy.

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