Time off work for bereavement

If an employee's child dies

Employees have a right to 2 weeks off if their child dies under the age of 18 or is stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy. This is called 'parental bereavement leave' and is also known as 'Jack's Law'.

Employees and workers might also be eligible for 'parental bereavement pay'.

Anyone classed as an employee also has the right to unpaid time off if their child (a 'dependant') dies under the age of 18.

Read more about:

If an employee is on adoption leave when their child dies

If an employee is on adoption leave and their newly adopted child dies, their leave will end 8 weeks after the end of the week in which the child dies.

In this circumstance an employer should support the employee and their partner with care and in a way that acknowledges their loss.

If an employee is on Shared Parental Leave when their child dies

If an employee is on Shared Parental Leave when their child dies they can still take the leave in full. They can reduce the length of the leave or cancel it if they want to. To do this, their employer has to have at least 8 weeks' notice of the new end date, or 8 weeks' notice to cancel the period of leave that has not yet started.

If an employee's child dies after they have given a 'notice of entitlement' to take Shared Parental Leave, they can take the leave that they have already booked. If they have not yet given a notice of entitlement when their child dies, they cannot book a period of Shared Parental Leave.

Find out more about Shared Parental Leave and Pay

Last reviewed