Parental Bereavement Pay and Leave in Northern Ireland

18 February 2022

From 6 April 2022 parents in Northern Ireland will be eligible for Parental Bereavement Pay and Leave if they lose a child under 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks. 

The 2 weeks of Parental Bereavement Leave will be a ‘day one right’. Entitlement to Parental Bereavement Pay given to those with at least 26 weeks of continuous service and earnings over the Lower Earnings Limit on the date of the date of the bereavement. Mirroring the parental bereavement provisions in the rest of the UK, pay will be set at the statutory flat weekly rate of £156.66, to those eligible.

A ‘bereaved parent’ is defined as;

•    The child’s legal parents
•    Individuals with a court order giving them day-to-day responsibility for the child
•    Primary carers without legal status (such as kinship carers)

There will be no notice period for leave taken soon after the death, recognising that employees are likely to need this leave with little to no notice. Informal notification, such as a text or phone call, will be acceptable for short notice leave. The set number of weeks has yet to be confirmed for this.

Leave taken at a later time will be subject to a notice period, this will be the normal notice period agreed between an employee and employer. 
For an employee to receive pay, advanced notice is required to give employers time to make the necessary pay arrangements. 

Parental Bereavement Leave will not require any evidential requirements, allowing grieving parents the ability to take leave without the need to providing further information. For pay, however, there will be the minimal evidence required, a written self-declaration that they meet the criteria for pay, confirming the identity of the person claiming and the date of the child’s death.

Such situation need to be handled with care and sensitivity, which will be easier if you are familiar with the processes required. 
The UK Parental Bereavement Pay and Leave information can be found on GOV.UK, the Northern Ireland information will be found on NI Business Info and NI Direct soon.

Information provided in this news article may be subject to change. Please make note of the date of publication to ensure that you are viewing up to date information.