Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

Information about paid time off work after the death of a child, due to be introduced in April 2020

Last updated: 17 July 2019

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We’re very sorry if you are reading this because you have been recently bereaved. This article explains more about Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay, which is set to come into effect in Great Britain in April 2020.

This law has been passed to ensure that when a child dies, their the parents or primary carers can take paid time off work to grieve and attend to personal or administrative matters.

There is currently no statutory paid bereavement entitlement for workers, which means that employers can decide how and when they grant time off for staff, when someone dies. Known as compassionate leave, this may be paid or unpaid, according to the company's policy.

If you are a member of a union or employee organisation, you may find that it has welfare funds available, if you are facing unpaid time off work to cope with the death of a child, or a dependent loved one.

Benevolent funds, affiliated to a broad range of employment sectors, may also provide support to help families meet day-to-day living costs, when their income is affected by the death of a child.

Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay – from 2020

Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay will entitle parents or primary carers to two weeks’ paid time off, when a dependent child under the age of 18 dies. They will be able to take a fortnight, or arrange leave over two separate weeks, up to 56 days after their child has died.

The statutory Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay payment is anticipated to be £139.59 per week, or no less of 90 per cent of the bereaved person’s average weekly wage (whichever is lower).  Employers will be able to recoup all, or most of this back from the Government.

Parents who are on maternity or paternity leave when their child dies, will be able to claim Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay, while parents who were expecting a child will also be entitled to paid time off work to grieve, when their child is stillborn after 24 weeks into a pregnancy.

When a child dies, people will be able to claim Parental Bereavement Leave and pay without prior notice, without the need for employers to request a death certificate. You may be required to give a week’s notice to your employer, if you require time off further into the 56-day “window.”

If you are struggling to cope with grief, our Bereavement support pages lists bereavement organisations that provide parents, carers and families with support, counselling, advice and reassurance when a child they love has died.