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United Kingdom to Institute Parental Bereavement

Beginning in 2020, United Kingdom parents experiencing the loss of a child under the age of 18 or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of gestation will be entitled to two weeks’ leave. Employees who have worked at least 26 weeks of continuous employment with their employer will be eligible.
A non-profit in England estimated that one in ten employees are likely to experience bereavement with most employees not feeling supported by their employers when tragedy occurs. Prior to the passing of this new law, employees were permitted to take a “reasonable” amount of unpaid time off of work following a death. “Reasonable” was defined by the circumstances and generally, employers and employees were left to determine it.
The leave must be taken within 56 days of death. Rights owed to a mother for maternity leave also apply during bereavement and include the same terms and conditions as well as the right to return to the same job. Similarly, rights to paternity leave will also be maintained. Employees are entitled to statutory pay, which is approximately $185 per week and thus may choose not to use the leave unless offered more generous terms by their employer.