Last August, we commented on proposals to introduce a new right to paid leave in circumstances where an employee suffers the loss of a child. Initially, the proposals formed part of a Private Members’ Bill. However, the ‘Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’ has now picked up the mantle and launched a consultation exercise in relation to the proposed implementation of this right.
The Bill currently anticipates that employees will be entitled to 2 weeks’ leave in circumstances where they suffer the loss of a child under the age of 18. No period of service will be required in order to qualify for this right. However, those parents with 26 weeks’ continuous service (and who earn above a prescribed level) will also be entitled to receive parental bereavement pay, which would normally be payable at a flat rate of £145.18 per week.
As part of the consultation exercise, the government is seeking people’s views on who should be counted as a ‘parent’ for the purposes of this right. They are also seeking views on whether the 2 weeks’ leave should be taken in one go or whether it could be taken in instalments.
This consultation exercise is open until 8 June 2018. If you are interested in finding out more, here is a link to the relevant government webpage: