The Parental Bereavement Bill has been published and received a second reading.

The facts

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.