Bereavement leave will be introduced in 2020, the government has now announced, but employers should establish a suitable policy in 2019. Our article covers the detail.
As the proposals currently sit parents in the unfortunate situation of losing a child will gain, from April 2020, a statutory right to take time off for bereavement, and the leave may be taken in blocks of 1 week – either 1 single week, two separate periods of a week each or a 2 week continuous period of leave.
In the case of still births mothers may still take their full maternity leave and pay entitlement, but in these circumstances we expect that the new ‘parental bereavement leave’ will apply instead of statutory paternity leave, which is also for a maximum of 2 weeks, to be taken within 56 days of the birth of the child.
For 2019 employers should prepare a parental bereavement leave policy to include in staff handbooks. myHRdept will work with clients to establish a suitable policy and clients should decide whether they want to stick to the statutory minimum bereavement entitlement, or whether it would be appropriate to gold plate the policy by offering additional leave to bereaved parents, or indeed to offer bereavement leave in other circumstances of bereavement. It is not uncommon for instance for larger companies to provide up to 3 days paid bereavement leave for the loss of a partner or direct relative and a day for less direct relatives – practices vary by employer.