The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill was introduced into Parliament as a Private Members' Bill in July 2017. The Bill is being supported by the Government and is now wending its way through Parliament.
The aim of the Bill is to give parents who are employed and have suffered the death of a child the right to statutory paid leave in order to give them time to grieve. Under the law as it stands, employers are not required to give paid leave to grieving parents. Whilst employees have the right to take a reasonable amount of time off work to take action which is necessary for dependants – for example, if they are ill or injured – or make the necessary arrangements 'in consequence of the death of a dependant', there is no right to sickness absence due to grief.
The Government has now published a consultation document seeking views on options for regulations to fulfil certain provisions contained in the Bill, specifically on:
- the definition of 'bereaved parent';
- how and when two weeks of Bereavement Leave and Pay can be taken; and
- the notice and evidence required to take Bereavement Leave and Pay.
The consultation closes on 8 June 2018.