Who is entitled to statutory parental bereavement leave?

An employee is entitled to take statutory parental bereavement leave if they are the bereaved parent of a child who dies under the age of 18.

The legislation covers:

  • birth parents;
  • adoptive parents;
  • intended parents under a surrogacy arrangement;
  • the partner of a bereaved parent; and
  • "parents in fact".

The new law introduces the concept of a "parent in fact", defined as someone who had day-to day responsibility for the child's care and in whose home the child lived, for a continuous period of at least four weeks up to the day they died. For example, this would cover most foster parents.

Parents who suffer a stillbirth at 24 weeks or more into pregnancy will also be entitled to take parental bereavement leave.

Parental bereavement leave is a "day one" right, meaning that employees do not require a minimum period of service to qualify for it. However, there is a qualifying service requirement to be eligible for statutory parental bereavement pay.

The right applies in relation to children who die on or after 6 April 2020.