In the very sad event that an employee loses a child under the age of 18, including in the case of stillbirth after 24 complete weeks of pregnancy, the University’s Parental Bereavement Leave scheme offers they are entitled to two weeks leave at their normal full rate of pay. This is available as a Day One entitlement for all employees, ie regardless of their length of service. Leave can be taken as two consecutive weeks or two separate weeks, at any point within the first 56 weeks of the death of the child.
All University employees are eligible for the University’s enhanced parental bereavement leave and pay regardless of length of service. To be eligible employees do not have to be a birth or adoptive parents, and in some cases those who have had day to day responsibility for a child who was living with them may also be eligible. Where the employee was not a birth or adoptive parent, the Gov.uk guidance will confirm eligibility.
University employees are eligible for two weeks leave paid at their normal full rate of pay. If they are eligible for statutory pay (ie if they have 26 or more continuous service with the University) they will be eligible for statutory parental bereavement pay, which will be paid as part of the full-pay entitlement (ie not in addition to).
Length of leave
The two weeks leave can be taken as two consecutive weeks or two separate weeks, but must be taken in blocks of minimum one week. All the leave must be taken within the first 56 weeks following the death of the child.
An employee who chooses to take the leave within the first 8 weeks after the child’s death or stillbirth, just needs to advise their employing department before they would normally start work on the first day of the week or weeks they want to take off work.
If they wish to take the leave between 9 to 56 weeks after the child’s death or stillbirth, they should give the employer at least one week’s notice before the start of the week or weeks they want to take off work.
Interaction with other forms of leave
If the employee is taking another type of leave (for example, maternity leave or paternity leave) when the child dies or stillbirth happens, the Parental Bereavement Leave cannot start until the other leave has ended but does not have to be taken immediately after, as long as Parental Bereavement Leave is taken within 56 weeks of the date of death or stillbirth. It is also possible to take Parental Bereavement Leave between blocks of shared parental leave if this had booked this before the child died.
CoreHR and payroll actions
Parental Bereavement Leave should be actioned in Core HR as special paid leave (see guide CH23)
To enable Payroll to report appropriately to HMRC on any statutory payments, please email your payroll contact with details of the leave using the form provided.
Note: stillbirth / miscarriage
In the UK ‘stillbirth’ is when a baby is born dead after 24 completed weeks of pregnancy. Mothers whose babies are stillborn are entitled to the full provisions of the maternity leave scheme (ie 52 weeks leave, with the first 26 at the rate of full pay and the following 13 at the statutory rate of pay, if the employee is eligible and a further 13 weeks unpaid leave).
If the baby dies before 24 completed weeks of pregnancy this is referred to as miscarriage and whilst the maternity scheme does not apply, sick leave may apply and/or a period of compassionate leave may be granted.