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Create a new entitlement to child bereavement leave

Last updated: 05:08pm 24 May 2019

We will ensure all families who lose a baby are given the bereavement support they need, including a new entitlement to child bereavement leave.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.70

Our verdict

Historically, the only legal entitlement for leave due to family emergencies was stipulated in the Employment Rights Act, which guaranteed a “reasonable” amount of unpaid time off work. What constitutes a “reasonable” amount of time was left for employers to determine. This policy is a promise to legislate for a new entitlement to bereavement leave when a child dies.

In July 2017 the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill was proposed, which contained provision to “give employed parents two weeks’ paid leave if they lose a child under 18”.

On 13 September 2018, the bill passed into law, becoming an Act of Parliament. The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 is expected to come into force in 2020 (at the Secretary of State’s discretion), and gives bereaved parents of children under 18, including those who suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy, a right to two weeks’ leave.

Although the law has not yet come into force, it has gained Royal Assent and the promised “new entitlement” now exists. This policy is ‘done’.

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