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You may have seen coverage in the press  about the provision for statutory bereavement leave for parents whose child dies under the age of 18 years.

 

Fortunately this is a very rare occurrence and many employers are highly supportive anyway, but these new regulations create a statutory entitlement for the first time and are due to come into force on 6th April this year. .

 

The key aspects are as follows:

 

  • From the first day of employment in the event of the death of a child under the age of 18 years both parents will be entitled to two weeks bereavement leave. This leave can be taken as a two week block, or two one week blocks. 
  • This leave can be taken at any time until the first anniversary of the death of the child.
  • For employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service and average earnings at or above the lower earnings limit (£118 per week) will also be entitled to statutory parental bereavement pay of £151.20 per week or 90% of their average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.
  • Payments will be administered by employers in the same way as existing family-related statutory payments such as Statutory Paternity Pay
  • This provision will also apply to stillbirths, i.e. the death of a baby after the 24th week of pregnancy, although mothers are already entitled to their full maternity leave and pay provisions.
  • Apparently around 7,500 child deaths, including around 3,000 stillbirths, occur in the UK every year. The government estimates that this new entitlement will help to support around 10,000 parents a year.

 If you have any questions on this please, or need any guidance for your organisation, get in touch with me.

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