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Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act (Northern Ireland) 2022 received Royal Assent on 21 March 2022 and came into force today (22 March 2022).

This Act will now allow for some of these new employment rights to be introduced from April 2022.

The new employment rights that will come into force in April 2022, on a final date yet to be confirmed, are:

  • Entitlement to 2 weeks’ Statutory Parental Bereavement Leave;
  • Entitlement to 2 week’s Statutory Parental Bereavement Leave Pay (the statutory rate in GB increases to £156.66 on 11 April 2022);
  • Protection from dismissal or detriment as a result of exercising that entitlement.

This will bring Northern Ireland in line with the entitlements that have place in place in GB since April 2020. However, the Northern Ireland Act does provide for further rights to be brought into force at a later date (but before April 2026) which are:

  • in relation to miscarriage and;
  • removal of service requirement for statutory pay.

These further rights will mean that Northern Ireland’s entitlements are more generous than those in place in GB.

Members should start considering their existing policies to determine if they give effect to these new entitlements or if they require amendment. For Members with a presence in GB, then their GB policies will provide a good starting base.

We hope to provide Members with a Template Policy and some further guidance on these new entitlements in the coming week. In the meantime, if you have any query about this, please do not hesitate to contact the Legal Team.