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18 December 2017

Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill published

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill was published on 13 October 2017 and has had its second reading in Parliament. Although this is a Private Members’ Bill, it is likely to be passed because it has Government backing. The Bill gives the Secretary of State the power to make regulations to give employees who lose a child below the age of 18, including a stillbirth after 24 weeks, the following rights:

    • at least two weeks’ leave, irrespective of length of service. The leave will have to be taken within 56 days of the child’s death;
    • if more than one child has died, employees will be entitled to leave in respect of each child;
    • eligible employees with at least 26 weeks’ service will be entitled to at least two weeks’ statutory parental bereavement pay at the applicable rate (currently £140.98 a week) or 90% of their average earnings, whichever is lower. The Bill also enables provision to be made for employers to reclaim payments from Government; and
    • employees will be protected from detriment and dismissal as a result of taking parental bereavement leave.

The measures in the Bill would apply to England, Scotland and Wales, but not Northern Ireland. It is expected that the Bill will be implemented in 2020 through amendments to the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992.

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