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The government has published new regulations to introduce two weeks’ paid bereavement leave for parents following the death of a child aged under 18, or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy.

The new regulations come into effect on 6 April 2020, and allow a parent to take either one or two weeks’ bereavement leave, to be taken together or separately, regardless of how long they have been employed by their current employer.

Further, if the parents have been employed by their current employer for longer than 6 months/26 weeks and whose weekly average earnings are over the lower earnings limit will also be paid Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay (SPBP) during the leave at the lower of £148.68 per week (currently for 2019/2020) or 90% of salary.

There are fairly complex notice provisions in the regulations and so employers may wish to introduce a short policy explaining to employees what steps need to be taken in order to apply for the paid leave. They should also review any existing compassionate leave policy to take account of this new right.

Two weeks is the longest entitlement worldwide and it is estimated that this new right will help to support around 10,000 parents a year in the UK.

Let us know if you would like help creating an appropriate policy in time for 6 April.

HR, Employment Law and Immigration Solicitors

+44 (0)1252 821792