Parental Bereavement Leave
Extending support for families and parents is something which employee bodies have long campaigned for.
Compared to some other countries, the UK hasn’t always compared favourably, however the Parental Bereavement Leave Regulations came into effect on 6 April 2020 which, at that time, represented the most generous support for bereaved parents in the world.
How did the Parental Bereavement Leave right develop?
In 2010, one-year old Jack Herd tragically died after falling into a pond at home. His father was only allowed 3 days off work – one of which was to attend the funeral. Jack’s mother, Lucy, has campaigned ever since for a change in the law.
What is the entitlement?
The Parental Bereavement Regulations provide the statutory right to 2 weeks’ leave where parents lose a child.
Regardless of their length of service, an employee who loses a child under the age of 18, or suffers a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy, will be entitled to two weeks’ leave to be taken in one block, or as two separate blocks of a week.
A week is a working week for that individual, for example, if the employee works 3 days per week, a week would be 3 days.
What is statutory parental bereavement pay?
The leave is paid for employees who have at least 26 weeks’ service and who meet minimum earnings criteria (£120 per week as at April 2021).
Statutory parental bereavement pay is paid at the same rate as statutory paternity pay, i.e. £151.97 per week (as at April 2021) or 90% of weekly earnings if lower.
What do employers need to do?
Employers should have a Parental Bereavement Leave & Pay policy in place so that entitlement and notice requirements are clear.
Can I provide more than the statutory minimum?
Whilst the above represents what the Regulations provide, employers can of course choose to extend more generous provisions to their workforce.
For example, extending the right to parents who suffer a miscarriage, providing pay regardless of length of service or enhancing the amount of leave and/or pay.
In the past month, we’ve seen Channel 4 introduce a dedicated pregnancy loss policy and Monzo has introduced additional paid leave for employees who suffer pregnancy loss, or are undergoing fertility treatments, diagnosis or consultations as part of its drive to safeguard the mental health of its workforce.
Access a parental bereavement leave guidance and template policies
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