The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill Achieves Royal Assent

Grief impacts on the emotional, physical, and psychological well-being of those who are bereaved, and research has indicated that one in ten employees are likely to be affected by bereavement.

On the 13th September 2018, the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill achieved royal assent to become the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018. This is the first law of its kind in the UK and will support those affected by the loss of a child. It is expected to come into force by 2020.

The Act will give all employed parents a day-one right to 2 weeks’ leave if they lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. Employed parents will also be able to claim pay for this period, subject to meeting eligibility criteria.

Regulations will be required to set out further details of these new rights. However, the Act provides that:

  • An employee is a bereaved parent if the employee satisfies conditions specified in the regulations as to relationship with a child who has died.
  • The definition of a qualifying parent may be framed, in whole or part, by reference to the employee’s care of the child before the child has died.
  • Leave can be taken in respect of each child, where the death of more than one child is involved. A child is defined as a person under the age of 18, including stillborn children after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
  • The rules regarding rights during maternity leave, as well as other family leave, also apply during bereavement leave; this includes the right to the same terms and conditions, other than in respect of pay, and the right to return to the same role.
  • The rates of pay are also to be determined by the Regulations but to receive pay, rather than be able to take leave, a parent must have at least 26 weeks service and have received pay above the lower earnings limit for the last 8 weeks.

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 can be viewed here:

For more information and for guidance for employers regarding bereavement in the workplace, visit:

Invicta Law has a dedicated Dispute Resolution and Employment team, for more information, visit:

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