Posted: February 3, 2020
Under the Employment Rights Act 1996 employees currently have the legal right to ‘reasonable’ time off to deal with emergencies, such as the death of a child, and does not allow for prolonged grieving periods. Until recently, there has been no legal obligation for employers to provide paid time off for grieving parents.
Under ‘Jacks Law’ employed parents and adults with parental responsibility who have suffered the loss of a child, under the age of 18, are entitled to paid parental bereavement leave. This also applies to parents who suffer a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Parents and primary carers who have been employed for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks prior to when the child dies, and have received pay above the lower earnings limit for the previous 8 weeks, are entitled to at least 2 weeks paid leave, which is expected to be at statutory rate (currently £148.68 per week) but is still to be confirmed at the upcoming budget on 11 March. As such, any parental bereavement pay is expected to be administered as like Maternity and Paternity leave with a proportion subject to be reclaimed from HMRC via PAYE.
Workers who have not been employed for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks are still entitled to the 2 weeks leave, but the leave would be unpaid.
Parental bereavement leave can be taken in blocks of full weeks, either in one 2 week block or two separate blocks of 1 week each. Leave must be taken within 56 weeks of the date of the child’s death, which is to allow time for difficult events.
Please contact our payroll team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding this matter.