As of April 2020 parents or carers will be entitled to at least two weeks’ leave following the loss of a child under the age of 18 or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy, irrespective of how long they have worked for their employer.
Parents will be able to take the leave as either a single block of 2 weeks or as 2 separate blocks of one week each taken at different times across the first year after their child’s death. This means they can match their leave to the times they need it most, which could be in the early days or over the first anniversary. This must be taken within 56 weeks of the child’s death.
Whilst notice requirements must be flexible, employers may ask for written notice where possible, of when an employee would like to take this leave. Parents will not need to provide an employer with a death certificate as evidence.
Parents are entitled to parental bereavement leave if a child has died or been stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy, and they:
(a) are their parent or foster parent;
(b) have had the child placed with them for adoption (whether by a UK adoption agency or from overseas);
(c) are their intended parent under a surrogacy arrangement;
(d) are the natural parent of a child who has since been adopted by someone else, and there is a court order allowing them to have contact with the child;
(e) look after the child in their own home, other than as a paid carer, and have done so for at least four weeks.
Is this leave paid?
Some people may be eligible for a statutory payment during this time if they have been employed for 26 weeks continuously before the death of the child, subject to their earnings.
Statutory parental bereavement pay is only payable in respect of whole weeks of leave, at the same rate as statutory paternity pay. The rate is set by the government each tax year.
For advice please call our experts on 0114 3032300 or email [email protected]