Paternity Leave: Bereaved Parents – New Law
3 Minute Read
3 Minute Read

One of the final Acts of Parliament to make it through before closing for election was the Paternity Leave (Bereavement) Act provides for a period of leave in the event of the death of a mother of a new-born child (with mirror provisions in surrogacy/adoption cases).

What will this change?

Currently, unless the partner or father has been employed for a minimum period (26 weeks by the qualifying date), the partner or father would have no right to any leave.

Currently, the leave entitlement for paternity leave is just 2 weeks and there is a requirement that the leave is to be used to care for the mother of the child or the child itself.

What is going to change:

The Act removes the minimum service requirement so an employee who suffers such a tragic loss would be entitled to the leave from day 1 of employment.

It also removes the requirement for the leave to be used to care for the mother/child where both die. It also removes the condition that prevents bereaved parents from taking paternity leave where they have already taken shared parental leave.

How much leave will be available:

We don’t know yet currently only two weeks, however, the expectation is that it would be 52 weeks, as there is provision for KIT days (keeping in touch days) and also the door has been left open for protection from redundancy.

Will the leave be paid:

Again, we don’t know yet as no guidance or indication has been given on this yet. If it is paid it is likely it will follow the pattern of paternity/maternity leave statutory payments.

Hasn’t it been made law? Why don’t we know the details?

The Act has made its way through Parliament successfully and has received Royal Assent however it has not yet been ‘enacted’.

What this means is that further work needs to be done to bring it into force, additional Regulations need to be implemented which will essentially make the law ‘live’ and will provide the detail missing above as well as any other mechanics that are needed to make the law work in practice.

It is not known when this will happen as Parliament has now closed for the general election, however, the Act had strong support from all parties and it is expected that the new Government when formed will finalise matters, what is not known however is what the timescales for this will be.

Are you ready to be your workplace Hroe?

As we await the final implementation of the Paternity Leave (Bereavement) Act, it’s crucial for employers and employees alike to stay informed and prepared for the changes this significant legislation will bring. Contact us today for specialist employment advice or sign up for our HR software and get your first 3 months free!