Paid Bereavement Leave – about time too!
The Government has announced a new piece of employment legislation that will impact on all employers and will come into force in 2020 – parental bereavement leave and pay. This change in the law has been the subject of consultation for some time and is now law under the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018.
This new piece of employment legislation will see employed parents who lose a child aged under 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy entitled to receive 2 weeks leave. Those parents will also be entitled to pay for that period, subject to meeting certain eligibility requirements which will be similar for those requirements for statutory paternity pay.
The introduction of this new right is, quite rightly, welcomed. It is the first time there has been a legal right of this kind in the UK. However, for many employers, it will simply reflect what they already do for their employees who are faced with having to deal with the trauma of child bereavement. Indeed, many employers may go beyond this statutory 2 week period in the support that they offer.
Moorcrofts Employment Partner, Matt Jenkin said:
“Having advised employers for a long time, I can honestly say that I have not come across an employer who didn’t look to handle such a situation sympathetically and provide support to the employee. However, there are clearly rogue employers out there who perhaps don’t take the same view, which has resulted in the need for legislation. For employees of those organisations, this is a necessary strengthening of their employment rights and ensures that employees will be given time to start to come to terms with their loss.”
For more information on parental bereavement leave, please contact Matt Jenkin.