The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill received Royal Assent in September and is expected to come into force in 2020.  It provides for 2 weeks’ leave (paid if eligible) for parents who lose a child under the age of 18 or who suffer a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.  The Government has now published its response to a public consultation on the detail of the new rights.

The right will be available to parents and also to all primary carers for children including adopters, foster parents, guardians and kinship carers (those who have assumed responsibility for the care of the child in the absence of parents).

Employees will be able to take a single two week block or two separate one-week blocks within 56 weeks from the child’s death (so as to permit time off over the first anniversary).  For leave taken within a specified short period after the child’s death, formal notice of taking leave will not be required; leave taken later will be subject to having given one week’s notice.

Evidence requirements will mirror existing requirements used for other family leave and pay rights where possible: written declarations of eligibility will be needed for pay and possibly, if the employer requests it, for leave (but this will not be a pre-condition for an employee taking time off in the initial period after the child’s death).  Death certificates and evidence of relationship will not be required.