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Bereavement leave: New legal right to be introduced in April 2020

23 January 2020
Business Secretary, Andrea Leadsom, announced today that parents who suffer the loss of a child will be entitled to 2 weeks' statutory leave from April 2020, subject to Parliamentary approval. 

The Government states "This is the most generous offer on parental bereavement pay and leave in the world".

Parents will each be able to take the leave as either a single block of two weeks, or as two separate blocks of one week each taken at different times across the first year after their child's death.  The Government's press release highlights the importance of taking leave when it is needed most, whether that is in the early days or over the first anniversary.  

The right will apply to employed parents who lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy.  The right to the leave is a "day one" employment right, applicable irrespective of how long the employee has been with the employer.  Parents with 26 weeks' continuous service, who meet the earnings eligibility will be entitled to Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay.  

Employers need to ensure policies and procedures are updated to reflect this new right in readiness for April 2020.