There has long been a campaign to support those parents who have suffered the tragedy of losing a child and come April 2020, it is hoped that the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 will come into force.
What does the Act provide? Whilst undoubtedly many employers already handle such a situation with kindness, there has to date been no statutory right to fall back on. From April 2020, employees who have lost a child under 18 will be able to take up to 2 weeks’ paid leave provided they meet certain criteria (as with other types of parental leave, for example, establishing the relationship with the child).
Many people believe this Act has been a long time in the making and should have been created a while ago. Business minister Kelly Tolhurst has reinforced the monumental nature of the Act, whilst campaign groups who have been working for 8 years to create this statutory support for bereaved parents are delighted.
We await much of the detail, such as the applicable rate of pay, by way of regulations. Overall, whilst the Act may not necessarily have an impact on all employees – or employers for that matter, it creates a safety blanket for anyone who may be unfortunate enough to find themselves in this position.