New Parental Bereavement Leave for Employees

November 15th 2019

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The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 was given Royal Assent on 13 September 2018 and is due to come into effect in 2020.

The new legislation gives employees who lose a child under the age of 18 or a stillborn from 24 weeks of pregnancy, a day one right to two weeks leave. Subject to specified criteria, parents will also be entitled to be paid during the time off. The leave will be in respect of each child and must be taken before the end of a period of at least 56 days beginning with the date of the child’s death.​

Eligibility conditions for paid parental bereavement leave

Conditions for statutory parental bereavement pay will include:

  • a) the employee being the bereaved parent;
  • b) the employee being employed for a period of at least 26 weeks ending with the relevant week;
  • c) in the relevant week the employee was entitled to the employment; and
  • d) the employee’s weekly earnings for the period of 8 weeks are not less than the lower earnings limit in force.

The new Act acknowledges that employees need the time to grieve and are given the space to do so without the pressure of work.


Most employers currently provide for some paid bereavement leave for employees despite there being no statutory obligation to do so although the amount varies. Often this is granted on a case by case basis and is less than 2 weeks. It is likely that most employers will need to review their policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

Regulations and guidance are expected in due course.

Get in touch

If you need any further advice, please do get in contact. Call Philomena Price, ​Director and Employment Law Solicitor at Spratt Endicott Solicitors on 01295 204147, or email

*Disclaimer: While everything has been done to ensure the accuracy of the contents of this article, it is a general guide only. It is not comprehensive and does not constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should be sought in relation to the particular facts of a given situation.