New law supports all families who suffer the loss of a child

November 9, 2018   //   No Comments

New workplace rights to give paid leave to those who have suffered the loss of a child and ensure they are treated compassionately by employers were set out by the government recently:

  • Parents and carers will be eligible for new workplace right to paid leave when they suffer a loss of a child under 18
  • Employees will not have to give notice for leave immediately after a loss or need to supply a copy of a death certificate to use as evidence
  • First law of its kind in the UK to support employees and give them time to grieve

Recognising that the law needs to cater for a variety of family circumstances, the government has confirmed that those who are eligible under the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Act will be widened beyond parents to all primary carers for children, including adopters, foster parents and guardians. It will also cover more informal groups such as kinship carers, who may be a close relative or family friend and have assumed responsibility for the care of the child in the absence of the parents.

The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Act, which is expected to come into force in 2020, ensures bereaved employees who lose a child under 18 will receive 2 weeks’ leave as a day-one right. Eligible employees will also receive 2 weeks statutory pay. This is the first law of its kind the UK.

Following feedback from parents and employers, the government published its response to the public consultation and announced further details about how the new right will work:

  • leave can be taken either in 1 block (of 1 or 2 weeks) or as 2 separate blocks of 1 week
  • leave and pay can be taken within a 56 week window from the child’s death so as to allow time for important moments such as anniversaries
  • notice requirements will be flexible so that leave can be taken without prior notice very soon after the child’s death
  • employers will not be entitled to request a copy of death certificate to use as evidence

Source: Government website