The Parental Bereavement Bill has been published and received a second reading.
The proposed legislation, if it comes into law, would amend existing legislation to give employees who lose a child below the age of 18 (including a still birth after 24 weeks) the right to:
At least two weeks' leave (irrespective of their length of service). The leave will not impact existing rights to leave or pay (such as parental leave or maternity pay). If a parent loses more than one child, employees will be entitled to leave in respect of each child.
At least two weeks' statutory bereavement pay. Employees with at least 26 weeks' service will be entitled to be paid the prescribed rate or 90% of their average earnings (whichever is lower). The Bill entitles employers to reclaim some, if not all, payments from the government.
Employees will be protected from detriment, redundancy and dismissal as a result of them taking bereavement leave.
What does this mean for employers?
This is a private members' bill. However, it has Government backing so is likely to come into law. Regulations are not expected to be introduced until 2020.