October newsletter

Private Members Bill calls for statutory parental bereavement leave

Currently employers are expected to be understanding and flexible when dealing with bereaved parents but there is no legal obligation for employers to allow bereaved parents to take paid time off to grieve.

A private members bill “The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill” had its first reading in July of this year and the second and final reading is due on Friday 20th October.

Details of the bill have just been released in time for debate at the second reading.

Details of the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill

  • All employees will be entitled to take at least 2 weeks leave to grieve for the loss of a child

  • That the bereavement leave is taken before the 56th week following the death of the child

  • If there is the death of more than one child then there will be leave in respect of each child

  • Child is defined as a person under the age of 18

  • There is an option within the bill for leave to be extended to stillbirths but that was not contained in the original bill

  • If the employee has 26 weeks consecutive service then the Parental Bereavement leave will be paid

  • Pay is defined as “normal terms and conditions which would have applied but for the absence”

  • The bill proposes that employers can claim “pay” back from the Government

This private member’s bill raised by Kevin Hollinrake (Conservative MP) delivers on the government’s promise to ensure bereavement support for employees and it is likely that it will be passed on its second reading.

Fine detail regarding notification and eligibility procedures will be developed but it's likely the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill will be passed and will become legislation following a successful second reading.