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Topic: Work and parents

Letter to confirm parental bereavement leave
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Letter to confirm parental bereavement leave

Letter to confirm parental bereavement leave

Where an employee has given you informal notice that they’re taking parental bereavement leave following the death of their child under 18, or a stillbirth, you can follow this up with our letter.

Informal notice

If an employee intends to take parental bereavement leave (PBL) following the death of a child under 18, or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy, they simply need to let you know the date of the child’s death, when their PBL is to start and whether they’re taking one or two weeks. They can even do this verbally, as there’s no requirement for notification of PBL to be given in writing. For PBL taken in the first 56 days starting with the child’s death, the employee must notify you before they would have been due to start work on the day they want their PBL to begin, i.e. they can take PBL straightaway, and for PBL taken after the first 56 days, they must give you at least one week’s notice of their intention to take PBL. Where the employee has given you informal notification, you can follow this up by sending them our Letter to Confirm Parental Bereavement Leave. It’s designed to be sent along with our Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Form that the employee needs to complete to provide notice and evidence of entitlement to statutory parental bereavement pay (SPBP) - evidence of entitlement to SPBP does need to be given in writing. 

Letter contents

Our letter:

  • confirms whether the employee is taking one or two weeks of PBL and the date it starts and ends
  • sets out the pay position - there are three options here: (1) the employee is eligible to receive SPBP; (2) the employee isn’t eligible to receive SPBP either because of their short service or their low level of average weekly earnings; or (3) you will pay the employee full pay during PBL on a discretionary basis (in which case, this goes towards discharging your liability to pay SPBP)
  • reminds the employee that if they’re only taking one week of PBL now, they can still take a second week at any time within the period of 56 weeks beginning with the child’s death.

Where you offer other support to employees during times of bereavement, such as a counselling service, the possibility of a phased return to work, etc., you may have set this out in a separate Bereavement Policy. If so, our letter includes the option for you to attach that policy to highlight such further support.

Evidence of death?

Employees don’t have to provide any evidence of their child’s death in order to take PBL and qualify for SPBP. Therefore, make sure you don’t ask them to do so.

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