Today new regulations were laid out in Parliament for parents who suffer the loss of a child. From April of this year they will be entitled to two weeks statutory bereavement leave.
The new regulations inspired by Jack Herd whose mother Lucy had campaigned on this issue will implement the right to additional leave for parents who lose a child under 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. This leave will apply irrespective of how long a person has worked for their employer and can be booked as a single block of 2 weeks or as 2 separate blocks taken at different times across the first year after their child's death. This will allow parents to match their leave to the times they need it most.
We are the first country in the world to offer this leave and it will help many people organise the paperwork, post mortem or inquest dates, funerals and other organisational work which needs to take place after a child's death. It will make a big difference to parents affected by the death of their child.
The new regulations come in to force on the 6 April 2020 and parents who have been employed in their job for 6 months or more will also be able to claim statutory pay for this period in line with the approach on other parental entitlements such as paternity leave. The Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay will be at the rate of £148..68 per week or 90% of the average weekly earnings where this is lower.
The Government sill also continue to review further measures to benefit workers and businesses including the possibility of carer's leave and neonatal pay.