New Rights for Bereaved Parents

In Uncategorized on October 2, 2018 at 10:26 am

For the first time parents who suffer the loss of a child will have a legal right to time off work and, subject to eligibility, statutory bereavement pay.

two person holding hands while sitting on grey cushionThe Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 was given royal assent on 13 September 2018 and is expected to come into force in April 2020.

The Act will offer, as a day one right, two weeks’ leave to any employed parents who lose a child under the age of 18 or who suffer a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Employees will also be eligible for statutory bereavement pay if they meet certain criteria, including that they have been employed for at least 26 weeks, and have given the correct notice.

Currently, employees are entitled to a reasonable amount of unpaid time off following a bereavement.

Will Quince MP, who first brought the issue to Parliament in a Ten-Minute Rule motion said:

There can be few worse life experiences than the loss of a child and while most employers treat their staff with dignity and compassion when this tragedy occurs, all too often we have heard stories of grieving parents being forced back to work too early.

I am delighted that parents in this awful situation will now have the protection of paid leave enshrined in law, and we should be very proud that the UK now has one of the best worker’s rights in this area in the world.


Whilst many employers would be sensitive to a bereavement of a child, this legislation is setting out mandatory obligations. This is a good example for having a clear written policy ahead of time.

Once the regulations for the implementation of the Act are published, employers should review their policies and procedures regarding bereavement to ensure compliance. If you would like advice on implementing this legislation, contact us at Rob Bryan Associates Limited Main Office: 01462 732444

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