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A new workplace right to paid leave for bereaved parents has been officially enshrined in law today.
The new Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Act is expected to come into force in 2020. It will give all employed parents a day-one right to two weeks’ leave if they lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. Employed parents will also be able to claim pay for this period, subject to meeting eligibility criteria.
Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst, said: “This law makes Parental Bereavement Leave a legal right for the first time in the UK’s history. Losing a child is an unimaginable trauma. I am delighted we have reached this important milestone which so many have campaigned for.”
The government-backed bill was introduced to parliament in July 2017 as a private member’s bill by Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton.
Currently, employees have a day-one right to take a reasonable amount of unpaid time off work to deal with an emergency involving a dependant, including making arrangements following the death of a dependant.