The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 was given Royal Assent on 13 September. It means that from 2020, bereaved parents will be entitled to two weeks’ paid leave.

The new law will give parents who suffer the loss of a child aged under 18 or have a stillborn child after 24 weeks a right to two weeks’ paid leave.

The precise details of the scheme will be set out in Regulations but pay will likely be . Entitlement will depend on having 26 week’s service with the employer and will be paid at the same rate as statutory paternity leave. As with maternity and paternity pay, employers will be able to recoup payments from the state and as a result the legislation is likely to be just as complicated. It is expected to be 2020 before the new scheme is actually in place.

One thing to watch out for is the evidence that will need to be provided to allow the employer to claim back the money paid to bereaved parents. This is likely to be an upsetting process for the employer and for the employee concerned – especially if employers are required to request a copy of the death certificate.

The Government estimated that about 8,000 people a year would qualify for the new right – and most of them are likely to have employers who would already give them a period of paid compassionate leave or fully paid sick leave.

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