Currently, whilst employers are expected to be understanding and flexible, there is no legal requirement for employers to provide paid time off for grieving parents. Instead the Employment Rights Act allows employees to take a ‘reasonable' amount of unpaid time off to deal with an emergency involving a dependent. Is this all about to change?  

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has now published a Bill, which will entitle working parents who lose a child under the age of 18 to two weeks' leave, regardless of their length of service.

Employees with a minimum of 26 weeks' continuous service will also be eligible for statutory parental bereavement pay, the cost of which employers will be able to recover from the Government (in the same way as other family friendly payments).

Details of the bill have been published in Parliament ahead of the Bill's second reading on 20 October. It is hoped the bill will formally become law in 2020.

If you would like further guidance on any of the other family friendly entitlements, please call me on 01702 216573 or email

Back to recent articles