Parental bereavement (leave and pay) policy

Updated on 27 July 2021

We recognise that, while dealing with any bereavement is difficult, the death of a child is among the most devasting events that a member of staff can ever face

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This policy reiterates our commitment to supporting staff throughout their grief by ensuring that bereaved parents can take parental bereavement leave.

The policy applies to staff who have suffered the loss of a child (under 18) on or after 1 April 2020. The policy also applies to parents who suffer a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Parental bereavement leave and/or pay will be in addition to any leave a member of staff may be entitled to under the University’s compassionate leave (bereavement) policy.

Parental Bereavement Leave

Under the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Act (2020), primary carers, not just parents, will be entitled to time off work following a death of a child under 18 years. This includes adopters, foster parents and guardians as well close relatives or family friends who have taken responsibility for the child’s care in the absence of parents.  For each child that has passed away, a bereaved parent can take one or two-weeks parental bereavement leave. This is a day-one right.

Parental Bereavement Pay

Under the legislation, parents and primary carers who have been employed for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks prior to when the child dies will be eligible for two weeks statutory paid leave. The University is however committed to providing enhanced support to staff at this difficult time and have agreed that any staff in this position will be eligible to parental bereavement pay from day-one of joining the University and furthermore, that this will be paid at an enhanced occupational rate (i.e. normal pay) as opposed to at the statutory level.

Timing of Parental Bereavement Leave

Leave can be taken in one block of two weeks or in two separate blocks of one week and can be taken at any point within a 56 week window from the child’s death. 

If you are on another type of statutory leave (for example maternity or paternity leave), your parental bereavement leave must start after the other leave has ended but does not need to be taken immediately.

Notice to take Parental Bereavement Leave

If you intend to take Parental Bereavement leave within the first eight weeks after your child’s death you do not have to provide a period of notice. Just let your line manager or the People Support team know no later when you are due to start work or, if this is not feasible, as soon as is reasonably practicable.

If you intend to take the leave more than eight weeks after your child’s death, you must give your line manager or the People Support team at least one week’s notice of your intention to take this leave.

Please note that we will need a few details from you in respect of paid Parental Bereavement Leave. A form is available to download below. This should be completed and sent to Payroll.



People Support team

From People
Corporate information category Absences and related, Work/life balance