The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill began life as a Private Members' Bill in July 2017. The Bill is being supported by the Government and is now wending its way through Parliament.

The aim of the Bill is to give parents who are employed and have suffered the death of a child under the age of 18 the right to two weeks' Bereavement Leave in order to give them time to grieve. Employees with 26 weeks' continuous service will also be entitled to Bereavement Pay. Under the law as it stands, employers are not required to give paid leave to grieving parents. Whilst employees have the right to take a reasonable amount of time off work to take action which is necessary for dependants – for example, if they are ill or injured – or make the necessary arrangements 'in consequence of the death of a dependant', there is no right to sickness absence due to grief.

The Government has now published a consultation document seeking views on options for regulations to fulfil certain provisions contained in the Bill, specifically on:

  • the definition of 'bereaved parent';
  • how and when two weeks of Bereavement Leave and Pay can be taken; and
  • the notice and evidence required to take Bereavement Leave and Pay.

The consultation, which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/695894/Bereavement_Leave_Consultation.pdf closes on 8 June 2018.

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill can be found at https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2017-2019/0164/18164.pdf

Contact Samantha Glynn on employment law matters on 0121 698 2200 or email Sam on s.glynn@sydneymitchell.co.uk

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