On 13 October 2017, the Government published The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill (the “Bill”), entitling employed parents who lose a child to two weeks paid leave.

For the purpose of the Bill, a child is a person under the age of 18. The Bill affords the Secretary of State discretion to extend the definition of child to include a child who is stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

All employed parents will be entitled to this bereavement leave from the first day of their employment irrespective of how long they have been employed by the employer.

Statutory Bereavement Pay (“SBP”) will be available to parents who have been employed by the employer for a continuous term of at least 26 weeks. SBP equates to the lesser of 90 per cent of the employee’s weekly salary, or £140.98. Employers will be able to recover the cost of Statutory Bereavement pay from the government.

The Bill, proposed by Kevin Hollinrake MP, is intended to ensure that employers have a framework in place to support employees who are bereaved parents.

Under the current legislation, the Employment Rights Act 1996, parents of dependents are entitled to take unpaid leave for a “reasonable” period in the event of an emergency situation, including the death of a dependent. It is left to the employer and employee to agree what constitutes a “reasonable” period of leave based on the employee’s circumstances.

Farleys Solicitors LLP specialises in all areas of HR and employment law for all levels of employees. We have offices in Blackburn, Preston, Burnley, Manchester and Accrington.

If you require advice and assistance in relation to family leave and your rights at work or any HR or employment matter please contact Farleys Employment Law & HR team on 0845 287 0939 or contact us by email.