There is currently no legal requirement for employers to provide paid time off for parents whose child has died. The government previously pledged to introduce a new entitlement for parental bereavement leave and pay and, in September 2018, the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 (the Act) passed into law.
However, further regulations will now need to be made setting out the finer details of the new right. Consequently, it is not expected that the act will actually come into force until 2020.
What the Act says
The new law will give employed parents two weeks’ paid leave if they lose a child under 18 or, suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Parents will be entitled to this leave irrespective of their length of service with their employer.
Pay will be subject to qualifying conditions as found with other similar periods of statutory pay aimed at the working parent. Businesses will be able to claim back parental bereavement pay from the government.