New parental bereavement bill will ensure paid leave for parents who lose a child
The parental bereavement (leave and pay) bill has now reached its final stages. It has passed through the House of Commons and the House of Lords and now simply awaits its Royal Assent.
While it is hoped most employers would be compassionate and understanding to their staff after the loss of a child, it is currently not mandatory for organisations to offer them paid leave. This important bill seeks to allow parents who lose a child enough time to grieve without adding monetary woes to their distress.
The new legislation will give employed parents two weeks paid leave if they lose a child under the age of 18. This includes stillbirths and neonatal deaths where the leave would be in addition to their existing parental leave entitlement.
After the bill becomes law, which is predicted to be 2020, companies will have to offer parents two weeks of paid leave. Small employers will be able to recover all statutory parental bereavement pay from the government, while larger employers will be able to reclaim almost all of it.
While this bill is being discussed in parliament, ACAS has published some good practice guidelines for companies to follow, ensuring they take care of their employees at such a difficult time.
All employers will need to review their bereavement policies to accommodate for these changes. If you have any questions about the upcoming changes or would like your policies reviewed, contact GA Solicitors’ employment team. Call 01752 203500 or email me directly via robert.zacal@GAsolicitors.com.