Bereavement in the workplace!

March 2, 2020

Current rights to time off.



From a statutory point of view, employees have surprisingly little in the way of rights to take time off in the event of bereavement. There is scope to take a limited amount of time off following

the death of a dependant under the dependant care leave provisions, and rights to maternity and related types of leave may subsist where a baby dies. This April also sees the introduction of parental bereavement leave and pay
for any qualifying parent whose child (under the age of 18) dies, or for any qualifying parent who suffers a stillbirth after at least 24 weeks of pregnancy.

On 13 September 2018, the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 received Royal Assent. The Act creates
a statutory right to time off work for employed parents, with pay in some cases, following the loss of a child under the age of 18 (including a stillbirth after 24 weeks). It does so by inserting new provisions into the ERA and the SSCBA.


Parental bereavement rights.


Statutory parental bereavement leave (SPBL) is a period of one or two weeks’ leave that may be taken at any time within 56 weeks of the death of a child. A child is defined as a person under 18 (S.80EA(9) ERA) and includes a baby that is stillborn after at least 24 weeks of pregnancy. In the case of stillbirth, the date of death is taken to be the date the child is stillborn – S.80EE ERA.


Where more than one child has died or been stillborn the bereaved parent is entitled to a separate period of leave in relation to each child.



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