Employers urged to prepare for parental bereavement leave

Employers in England, Scotland and Wales will have to provide eligible workers with a new entitlement to parental bereavement leave and pay from April.

This will provide parents who lose a child or suffer a stillbirth with a day-one employment right to take two weeks off work on statutory pay.

Subject to parliamentary agreement, the new entitlement will apply to deaths or stillbirths on or after 6 April 2020.

HMRC considers ‘parents' to be adoptive parents, parents of a child born to a surrogate and parents who are fostering to adopt.

The new entitlement also applies to legal guardians who cared for the child in their own home for four weeks ending with the date of death.

The Government estimates that ‘Jack's Law' will help support around 10,000 parents in the UK each year.

Kevin Hollinrake, MP and sponsor of the original Private Member's Bill, said:

"While most employers are compassionate and generous in these situations, some are not, so I was delighted to be able to help make leave for bereaved parents a legal right."

Clea Harmer, chief executive at the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society, added:

"All employers need to ensure they know about this important change in the law and what additional support they can offer to bereaved parents in their workplace, as this is vital time for them in their grieving process."

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