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Are parents of a bereaved child entitled to paid time off work?

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There is currently no legal right to paid time off following the death of a child. All employees are entitled to ‘time off for dependants’ but this time is unpaid. Time off for dependants allows employees time off to deal with unforeseen emergencies or matters involving dependants.

This could include time off to arrange or attend a funeral for a spouse, child, parent or anyone living in the household.

Whether the leave is paid will depend on the individual. Often employers will allow employees to use their holiday to ensure that they are paid but this will be deducted from an employee’s holiday allowance.

Currently, the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill 2017-19 is working its way through the House of Commons with its second reading due on 20 October 2017. This means that the bill could become law at some point in the future. It is supported by the government and the Conservative manifesto.

Under the bill, employed parents who have lost a child would be entitled to statutory paid leave to allow them time off to grieve.

This is welcome news and we will have to wait and see how the legislation progresses over the coming months.

This article is not a substitute for legal advice on specific facts and circumstances. It is designed as a free update on the law at the time of publishing. BakerLaw LLP accepts no responsibility for reliance on this article and recommends that you seek independent legal advice on your specific circumstances prior to taking any steps.