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New law supports all families who suffer the loss of a child. New workplace rights to give paid leave to those who have suffered the loss of a child and ensure they are treated compassionately by employers were set out by the government today.
Recognising that the law needs to cater for a variety of family circumstances, the government has confirmed that those who are eligible under the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Act will be widened beyond parents to all primary carers for children, including adopters, foster parents and guardians.
It will also cover more informal groups such as kinship carers, who may be a close relative or family friend and have assumed responsibility for the care of the child in the absence of the parents.
The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Act, which is expected to come into force in 2020, ensures bereaved employees who lose a child under 18 will receive 2 weeks’ leave as a day-one right. Eligible employees will also receive 2 weeks statutory pay. This is the first law of its kind the UK.
Following feedback from parents and employers, the government today (2 November 2018) published its response to the public consultation and announced further details about how the new right will work:
It will give all employed parents a day-one right to 2 weeks’ leave if they lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. Eligible parents will be able to claim statutory pay for this leave.