Bereavement Leave – a simple guide

From 1st April 2020, the The Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay (General) Regulations 2020 provide all employees with to 2 weeks bereavement leave in respect of the death of their child.  That leave may be taken as a whole or in blocks of 1 week.

Employers must pay the leave at statutory rate, the lower or 151.20 per week or 90% of salary.

The employee is required to give notice (writing is not required) of intention to take the leave.  During the first 56 days beginning with the date of the child’s death, notice need simply be before the employee is due to start work (or otherwise as soon as reasonably practicable).  After 56 days, at least 1 week’s notice is required before the start of the week for which absence is to be taken.

An employee cannot cancel any week of parental bereavement leave which has already started.

If the employee has a more beneficial contractual right to bereavement leave, the employee will wish to take that instead as the two entitlements cannot be taken separately.

The regulations are technical and complex but, hopefully, the circumstances in which any argument may arise over the taking of leave, or payment for it, will be very rare indeed.

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