By Lauren Wilson, Trainee Solicitor.
The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 received royal assent (approval), at the end of last week. The Act will create a new legal entitlement to Parental Bereavement Leave (PBL) for employees following the death of their child under the age of 18.
Whilst the details of the new entitlement are yet to be published, the PBL entitlement will be to two weeks’ leave from work, and it is expected that the leave will require to be taken within 56 days following the child’s death. This will include where a child is born stillborn after 24 weeks’ pregnancy.
As is the case during other kinds of family-related leave, such as maternity or adoption leave, the employee’s terms and conditions of employment will be unaffected by taking this new type of leave.
Arrangements for Parental Bereavement Pay (PBP) for this period, and the criteria that will apply in terms of eligibility for PBP, are yet to be finalised, but it is currently anticipated that PBP will only be available to employees with at least 26 weeks’ service at the end of the ‘relevant week’.
Full details of the PBL and PBP arrangements will be contained in supporting regulations, which are yet to be published by the Government. The Government anticipates publishing these regulations and bringing the Act fully into force by April 2020.
For more information in the meantime, please see the government’s press release at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-first-parents-who-lose-a-child-entitled-to-bereavement-leave .
If you have any questions about the new Act, or your require support on any other employment law matters, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team on 0141 331 5150.