Posted by Ali Cloak, Partner
The latest on the Parental Bereavement Bill
Ali Cloak takes a look at the latest development on the Parental Bereavement Bill, which is now set to become law, and what this means for bereaved parents.
Until now, there was no legal requirement for employers in the UK to provide paid leave for grieving parents, but on 24 July 2018, a giant step was taken to bring us closer as the final reading in the House of Commons took of The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill took place with agreement between both houses.
The Bill now waits for the final stage of Royal Assent when it will officially become an Act of Parliament, and therefore law. This date is still yet to be confirmed, but the aim is for the Bill to become law by 2020.
What you need to know
Under this new act, employed parents who lose a child under the age of 18, or when their baby is stillborn will be entitled to two weeks of statutory paid leave.
Those parents, who are on maternity or paternity leave when their child dies, will be able to take the paid Bereavement leave on top of this to grieve.
The Bill set out that grieving parents must be paid no less than 90 per cent of their average weekly earnings, or £139.58 per week, whichever is lower.
From an employer’s perspective, the government will support businesses by allowing them to claim back parental bereavement pay from the Government.
The Bill which was introduced by Kevin Hollinrake MP shared the importance of introducing this bill, and said:
“This new law will give employed parents a legal right to two weeks’ paid leave, giving them that all-important time and space away from work to grieve at such a desperately sad time.”
I often act for families where a loved one has died because of failures in the care that was provided to them and understand that losing a child is one of the most devastating experiences that a parent can go through. Whilst money will never be the primary concern, it is vitally important that during this tough period there is extra financial support available to assist with maintaining household finances and caring for other children during the initial aftermath.
We warmly welcome this new law and look forward to this bill becoming law by 2020.
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