Parental Bereavement Bill - update of status

Parental Bereavement Bill - update of status

A new bill, which will help grieving parents, passed through the third hearing in the House of Lords recently. Now, it awaits the Royal Assent. Afterwards, it will become an Act of Parliament and it will then pass into UK law.

What is the Parental Bereavement Bill?

The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill guarantees mothers and fathers a period of paid leave to give them the time they need to get over the loss of a child.

The bill enables parents who have lost a child to take 14-days of paid leave off work. They can take this time off anytime up to 56-days after the child's death.

Currently, grieving parents must rely on the generosity of their bosses to give them paid leave. Some people may take unpaid leave to give themselves time to recover from their loss. Many, however, can not afford to lose their pay packet, especially with the additional costs of the funeral and other arrangements.

Who is entitled to claim under the bill?

Parents who have lost a child below the age of eighteen can claim parental bereavement pay and leave under the new bill.

Mothers and fathers on paternity or maternity leave are eligible for additional parental bereavement pay and leave.

Parents can claim for the loss of each child if more than one child is deceased.

How much will parents receive?

The statuary benefit leave payment for grieving parents will be £140.98 per week each. The government will reimburse most of this amount to employers.

When will the bill become law?

The new bill is expected to pass into UK law in 2020. However, there are still numerous details of the new bill which need defining.

For example, the definition of parent for this purpose needs clarification.  With the current changes in family dynamics, it may be people who are not the child's biological parents who should be entitled to the benefits.

Also, it needs to be defined if the parents must take the two weeks paid leave altogether or if they can break it up.

How is this decided?

A government-sponsored consultation which ran from March to June of this year asked parents, employers and others related to the subject, their opinions about key issues.

The issues include-

  • The definition of grieving parents
  • When and how leave could be taken
  • The requirements of notice and evidence

The analysis of the results of this consultation will determine the definitions and terms that will be employed.

Many people have campaigned tirelessly for this change in the law and they are delighted as another step is taken forward in the rights of grieving parents.