Employment Law: New Parental Bereavement Act | February 2020
In January 2020, it was announced that the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 will be implemented this year.
The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 became law in September 2019 and will be coming into force on 6th April 2020.
Employers will always want to support their employees during these most difficult times in their lives and the act extends existing support by providing a minimum statutory right to time and payment.
What is covered?
The law provides new rights to employees who lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from the 24th week of pregnancy. The right to two weeks’ leave will be available for all employees, from day one of employment.
How does this compare to current rights?
Employed parents are entitled, currently from day one of employment, to take a reasonable amount of unpaid time off to manage any emergencies involving a dependant, which has so far gone some way to support parents. However, the new rights are more specific and include payment during bereavement leave for employees with at least 26 weeks’ service.
Are there any guidelines regarding the practical application of the new rights?
The leave can be taken as one block or as two one-week blocks. Payment will be based on the same statutory rate as other family friendly rights if the employee has 26 weeks’ service: from 7 April 2019 the statutory rate is £148.68 or 90 per cent of employee’s weekly earnings if this is lower.
What action needs to be taken?
We would recommend that organisations revisit their family friendly policies periodically to ensure that the minimum statutory entitlements are included.
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