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The Northern Ireland Assembly has passed the Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Bill.  The Department of the Economy aims to introduce Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay that mirrors the provision that is currently in place in GB later this year. Eligible working parents will be entitled to two weeks’ statutory paid leave in the event of the death of a child.

It is expected that a child will include anyone under the age of 18 and a child stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy.  The right to Parental Bereavement Leave will be a Day 1 right. Eligibility for pay will be based on 26 weeks of qualifying service. Pay will be at the statutory rate for other types of family leave, currently £151.97 per week or 90% of the person’s earnings if that is less that £151.97.

Economy Minister, Gordon Lyons, stated that “the purpose of the right is to provide an important statutory safety net for working parents who suffer such a profound loss.”

Provision for similar statutory support for miscarriage will follow at a later date following a public consultation.

Should you require any further information or advice, please contact any member of the Employment Law Unit:-                                                                     

Tel: 028 9024 5034

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Every care has been taken in the preparation of this bulletin; readers are advised however to seek legal advice in relation to specific issues.