From April 2020, parents who suffer the loss of a child under the age of 18, or a stillbirth, will be entitled to two weeks’ paid leave at the rate of statutory bereavement pay.

The change is expected to help around 10,000 families a year and, according to Government ministers, will be the most generous parental bereavement pay in the world.

Any employers who are unsure about the new paid bereavement leave rules should seek advice as a failure to follow the new statutory entitlement could lead to a hefty fine.

This new statutory right does not extend to bereavement following the death of other close family members such as a spouse or parent.

Although employers are not legally obliged to pay employees while they are on bereavement leave, some may choose to do so, so it is important to include your compassionate leave policy in employment contracts or your company handbook.