A long overdue Bill is to be presented to Parliament entitling parents who lose a child under the age of 18 to at least 2 weeks parental bereavement leave to be taken before the end of the period of 56 days beginning with the date of the child’s death. Any employee, regardless of length of service, will be entitled to that leave.
Also, those parents who have 26 weeks’ continuous service will receive statutory parental bereavement pay. Employers will be able to recover the cost from the Government.
The new entitlements will apply in the case of stillbirths after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
In the case of more than one child dying the entitlements will be in respect of each child.
Hopefully this Bill will receive a smooth passage through Parliament. All employers are no doubt understanding and flexible when an employee suffers the loss of a child but until now there has been no legal obligation to allow parents time off to grieve.