Statutory Parental Bereavement Leave

This came into effect on 1st April 2020 and lays out the entitlement and the legal minimum an employer must give for time off to deal with the death of a child.  This right applies to the:

  • Biological parent
  • Adoptive parent, if the child was living with them
  • Person who lived with the child and had responsibility for them, for at least four weeks before they died
  • ‘Intended Parent’ – due to become the legal parent through surrogacy
  • Partner of the child’s parent, if they live with the child and the child’s parent in an enduring family relationship.

To be eligible the claimant must be employed and classed as an employee.  The leave is for two weeks and applies to parents whose child dies under the age of 18 or is stillborn after 24 weeks’ of pregnancy.  If more than one child dies, the employee is entitled to two weeks’ leave for each child.

The leave can be taken in the 56 weeks following the child’s death and can be taken either as 2 weeks’ leave or as 2 separate weeks.  If the leave is to be taken within 8 weeks (56 days) of the death, the employee can start their leave as soon as they give their employer notice.  If the leave is to be taken after 8 weeks, the employee must give their employer one weeks’ notice.  At the time of requesting the leave, or within 28 days of starting the leave, the employee must give their employer ‘notice’ that they wish to claim Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay.

Employee can claim Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay if:

  • They were employed when the child died
  • They had worked for their employer for at least 26 weeks, on the Saturday before the child’s death
  • They earn on average at least £120 per week (before tax).

Currently (June 2020) the rate of pay is £151.20 a week or 90% of their average    weekly earnings, whichever is the lower, this is the minimum that must be paid.  SME’s will generally be able to claim these payments back; larger companies may       not be able to reclaim.

People who are not classed as ‘employees’ but as ‘workers’ are not entitled to Statutory Parental Bereavement Leave but they will be entitled to 2 weeks’ Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay for the time they take off, providing the eligibility rules set out above are met.

Any queries QHR Solutions would be happy to help, contact details are on the QHR Solutions main web site.