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Parents in the UK who suffer the devastating loss of a child will be entitled to 2 weeks’ paid statutory leave to grieve.

Under the new entitlement, working parents who lose a child under the age of 18 will get two weeks’ statutory leave. Where they meet the necessary conditions, they will also have a legal right to two weeks’ paid bereavement leave.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom, stated:
‘The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations, which will be known as Jack’s Law in memory of Jack Herd whose mother Lucy campaigned tirelessly on the issue, will implement a statutory right to a minimum of 2 weeks’ leave for all employed parents if they lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy, irrespective of how long they have worked for their employer. This is the most generous offer on parental bereavement pay and leave in the world, set to take effect from 6 April 2020.’

How will parental bereavement leave work?

Under the new rules, parents will be able to take the leave as either a single block of two weeks, or as two separate blocks of one week each taken at different times across the first year after their child’s death.

The right to Parental Bereavement Leave (PBL) will apply to all employed parents who lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth (from 24 weeks of pregnancy), irrespective of how long they have been with their employer.

Parents with at least 26 weeks’ continuous service with their employer and weekly average earnings over the lower earnings limit (£118 per week for 2019/20) will also be entitled to Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay (SPBP), paid at the statutory rate of £148.68 per week (for 2019/20), or 90% of average weekly earnings where this is lower.

The government has confirmed SPBP will be administered by employers in the same way as existing family-related statutory payments such as Statutory Paternity Pay.

The new rules will come into effect on 6 April 2020.

Around 7,500 child deaths, including around 3,000 stillbirths, occur in the UK every year. The UK government hopes this will help alleviate some of the pressure and offer much-needed support to the thousands of parents who go through this devastating time.

Do you need help with implementing paid parental leave for your employees?

We have a dedicated Payroll team who can assist with any statutory leave including holiday, maternity, sick and bereavement leave. If you would like any information on this please contact Derek Boughton on dboughton@ellacotts.co.uk or contact us here.