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Parental bereavement – in force?

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 should come into force in April 2020. Regulations as to the detailed operation of the Act are awaited but the government’s consultation response provides a good idea of how it will work.
 
Employed bereaved parents of a child under 18 (including a child that is stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy) will be entitled to two weeks leave as a day one right. They will qualify for statutory bereavement pay if they have 26 weeks’ service and earn more than the lower earnings limit. A child’s biological or adoptive parents qualify for leave as will others who have a primary caring responsibility for a child or who are substantially acting as a child’s parents (eg foster carers).
 
Employees can take leave flexibly, either as a single week, a single block of two weeks or two single periods of a week. Parents will have up to 56 weeks from the date of a child’s death to take leave, allowing them to take it when they need it most. Notice requirements will also be flexible, with no notice required to take leave shortly after a child’s death. Employees will need to give at least one week’s notice to take leave at a later date. Parents will have to provide a written declaration of entitlement to leave only if an employer asks for one, but will have to provide a written declaration of eligibility for parental bereavement pay in order to qualify. Source: [2020] 208 Employment Law Journal 16.
 

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