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​Northern Ireland: New bereavement leave rights for parents

25 April 2022


All employees in the dental team are now entitled to two weeks' paid bereavement leave (PBL) in the event of the death of a child under the age of 18, or a stillbirth (from 24 weeks of pregnancy), irrespective of their length of service.

This new right came into force on 6 April 2022, harmonising parental bereavement leave rights across the UK. Employees taking PBL are entitled to statutory parental bereavement pay (SPBP), currently paid at the lower rate of £156.66 per week or 90% of their normal weekly earnings, so long as they meet certain qualifying criteria.

An employee can choose to take either: 
  • One whole week 
  • Two consecutive weeks; or 
  • Two separate weeks at different times. 
A week for these purposes is a seven-day period starting on any day. This may be taken at any time within 56 weeks of the death of a child. The 56-week limit is designed to ensure that an employee has the right to take leave around the time of the anniversary of the child’s death. In circumstances where more than one child has died or been stillborn, the bereaved parent is entitled to a separate period of PBL in relation to each child.

SPBP will be paid in the same way as existing family-related statutory payments such as maternity, adoption and paternity pay. The Labour Relations Agency have produced a document of FAQs to help answer your questions.