In 2020 the Parental Bereavement Bill will finally become law
The death of a child is a devastating experience for any family. Incredibly, currently, grieving parents are not legally entitled to have any paid time off work to recover from their loss. Now, however, after years of campaigning the Parental Bereavement Bill is going to change that.
What is the Parental Bereavement Bill?
The bill ensures that both bereaved parents will be entitled to at least two weeks of paid leave from their jobs. While a fortnight is obviously not long enough to recover from the loss of a child, it will help. It will at least allow parents time to mourn, to make funeral arrangements, and to assimilate a little their grief.
The law will affect parents coping with the death of any child under the age of 18-years, or, who is in full-time compulsory education. Grieving parents will be entitled to £139.58 a week, or, at least ninety-percent of their average weekly wage if this amount is lower.
What are the current legal rights of grieving parents?
Currently, parents facing the death of a child are not entitled to any paid leave. Time off is allowed at the employer's discretion. Most employers will permit grieving parents unpaid leave, but not all. Also, many people simply can not afford to lose their paychecks, especially while facing this difficult and expensive time.
When will the Parental Bereavement Bill become law?
In October of 2017, the bill successfully passed the second hearing in Parliament. By 2020, it should become part of UK law. The bill states that parents will be entitled to at least two weeks of paid leave, which they can take at any point up to 56-days after the death of their child.
Will the new law apply to stillborn babies?
It is still under debate as to whether the new Parental Bereavement Bill will apply to parents of stillborn babies. Currently, parents of a baby who is stillborn, or who is declared deceased posterior to the 24th week of pregnancy, are permitted fully paid maternity or paternity leave.
Will parents on maternity or paternity leave be entitled to more paid leave under the new bill?
Yes. If a new-born dies during the period of paid maternity or paternity leave, the grieving parents will be entitled to a further two weeks of paid time off from their jobs. In the event of multiple recently-born child deaths, they could have paid leave for each bereavement.