New Law Gives Bereaved Parents the Right to Paid Leave


The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 was recently given royal assent. The Act grants the right to a period of paid leave to parents following the death of their child.

Currently there is only a limited right for the making of arrangements. The amount of time that can be taken is generally limited to a couple of days at most. In a first for the UK, the new Act will make paid bereavement leave a legal right for up to two weeks.

The Act will offer two weeks’ leave to any employees that suffer the death of a child under the age of 18, or lose an unborn child after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Employees will be eligible for the statutory bereavement pay if they meet particular criteria, including having been employed for 26 weeks or more.

The leave must be used within the period of 56 days following the date of the child’s death. It must be taken in one-week blocks, but it does not need to be used in a continuous two-week period.

We currently do not have information on the rate of pay that will be due for bereavement leave. These details will be released in supporting regulations, which are expected to be introduced in advance of the Act coming into force in 2020.

For those employers that are already operating a policy on bereavement, Acas has published a guide on ‘Managing bereavement in the workplace – a good practical guide’.

Once the regulations are published, employers are advised to review their existing policies and, if needed, implement a new bereavement policy, whilst also ensuring that management and HR are properly trained on the new rules.

If you have any questions regarding the issues raised please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Employment Team on 0161 941 4000 or by email