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The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018
The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 has now received Royal Assent, bringing it one step closer to the Act coming into full force. The Government have announced that it anticipates introducing Regulations and thus bringing the Act into full force by April 2020.
The Act provides a right to two weeks of time away from work with pay for employees who have lost a child under the age of 18. This will provide employers with support to manage staff that are going through this difficult period.
Employees will be given the right to at least 2 weeks off, to be taken within a minimum time frame of 56 days beginning with the date of the child’s death. In the unfortunate event that the parent loses more than one child, the leave entitlement and pay will be in respect of each child.
We are told that a child is someone under the age of 18, and references to a child include a child stillborn after twenty-four weeks of pregnancy. Defining a parent is somewhat more difficult. We now await the criteria to be satisfied in order to qualify as a ‘parent’ for the purposes of leave. We expect that the criteria will in some way reference to the employee’s care of the child before the child’s death.
What remains unclear is the rate of pay for the period of leave and this is something that will need to be considered in the next 18 months before the Regulations are brought in.
It is important for employer’s to remember that the Act is not expected to come into force until 2020. In the meantime we recommend that you follow your usual absence policies.
*All information is correct at the time of publishing