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Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave Bill)

The publication of the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave Bill) caught my eye in last week’s news. Although this is a Private Member’s Bill it has the backing of the Government so it is likely to become law.

The effect of the new legislation will be that employees who lose a child below the age of 18 (including a stillbirth after 24 weeks) will have the right to:

  • At least two weeks’ leave (irrespective of their length of service).

This will not affect existing rights to leave or pay. If a parent loses more than one child employees will be entitled to leave in respect of each child.

  • At least two weeks’ statutory bereavement pay.

This will be payable to employees with at least 26 weeks’ service who will be entitled to pay the prescribed rate or 90% of their average earnings, whichever is lower. It is proposed that under the Bill, employers will be entitled to reclaim part of the payments from the Government.

Employees will also be protected from detriments, including redundancy and dismissal as a result of them taking bereavement leave.

Once all the legislative stages are complete then the new rules are expected to be introduced in 2020.

The new rules will join what I call the “Family Policies” which currently include the rules on maternity leave, paternity leave, shared parental leave, adoption leave. Although it’s 2020 before the current Bill becomes law, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns over your current family policies.

If you have any queries about any aspect of employment law, then please contact Julie Sullivan on 01383 721 621.

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