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Parental bereavement leave

Information on parental bereavement leave


We recognise that, while dealing with any bereavement is difficult, the death of a child is among the most devastating events that an employee can ever face.

This policy sets out our commitment to supporting bereaved parents through their grief by ensuring they can take parental bereavement leave.

The policy applies to employees who suffer the loss of a child under the age of 18 on or after 6 April 2020. This includes parents who suffer a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

This policy sets out the statutory rights and responsibilities of employees who wish to take Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay.

Key Principles - Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

Parental Bereavement Leave is a “Day One” right. Parents are legally entitled to statutory leave of 2 weeks if they suffer the loss of a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. It applies to the parents of children who have passed away either on or after 6th April 2020.

Its purpose is to give parents more flexibility within the bereavement process and working arrangements. All eligible employees have a statutory right to take Parental Bereavement Leave.

Under the legislation, employers are only required to pay for the two weeks leave at the annual statutory rate, however Torbay Council will enhance this and pay this at the employee's usual contractual rate of pay.

Employees are also encouraged to make use of paid compassionate leave and to request this to further enhance their paid leave options at this time.  For further information about compassionate leave, please refer to the Leave Arrangements Policy, available from MyView, under 'My Documents'.

Managers are advised to contact Human Resources to discuss any request for Parental Bereavement Leave and/or on receipt of any formal notification or request.


This policy applies to all Torbay Council employees.

Entitlement and Eligibility

Whatever your length of service, you can take this type of leave if you are the parent of the child who has passed away, or the partner of the child's parent. In general, you can take this type of leave if you have parental responsibility for the child. This includes adoptive parents.

If you have suffered a bereavement, but are unsure if you are entitled to parental bereavement leave and pay, please contact Human Resources for clarification:

How can Statutory Parental Bereavement Leave be taken?

You can take two weeks of parental bereavement leave. You can take the leave as:

  • A single block of two; or
  • two separate blocks of one week at different times.

You cannot take the leave as individual days.

You can take the leave at the time(s) you choose within the 56 weeks after your bereavement. You might choose, for example, to take it at a particularly difficult time such as your child's birthday.

If you have lost more than one child, you have a separate entitlement to bereavement leave for each child who has passed away.

If it is the parent who is employed by the Council, their partner must (where relevant) submit any notification to take Parental Bereavement Leave set out in this policy to his/her own employer, which may have its own Parental Bereavement Leave policy in place, if they want to take a period of Parental Bereavement Leave.

Do I have to give any notice to take parental bereavement leave?

If you need to take parental bereavement leave within the first 56 days after your bereavement, you can take the leave straight away. You do not have to provide any notice. To take leave more than 56 days after your bereavement, please give your line manager at least one week's notice.

Am I entitled to Parental Bereavement Pay?

The Council will enhance the statutory provision so that employees will receive 2 weeks paid leave under this policy. The pay will be at the employee's usual contractual rate. Under the Council’s Leave Arrangements Policy, you can also request to take up to 37 hours paid compassionate leave at the end of the initial 2 weeks' bereavement leave or at a later date. This can be requested on MyView, under 'Time Management'.

Notice Requirements and Declarations

To request Parental Bereavement Leave

You or your manager should request this on MyView under 'Time Management' on the first day you wish to take the leave or, if that is not feasible, as soon as you can. This will go through to your Manager for their approval and you will receive notification once it's been approved. 

To request Parental Bereavement Pay

To be assessed for this, please complete the Parental Bereavement Declaration Form on MyView, under 'My Forms'. 

For further information about statutory Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay, please refer to the following website:-

Changing your mind about taking Parental Bereavement Leave

You can cancel your planned leave and take it at a different time (within the 56 weeks after your bereavement). Where your planned leave was due to begin during the first 56 days after your bereavement, please let your line manager know that you no longer wish to take it before your normal start time on the first day of the planned leave.     

You cannot cancel any week of parental bereavement leave that has already begun.

Your manager will need to contact to request that the planned leave and any associated pay is removed from your record.

Terms and Conditions of Employment

During a period of Parental Bereavement Leave employees will be entitled to the same terms and conditions that would have applied had they not taken the leave.

All Parental Bereavement Leave will be:

  • Pensionable;
  • Reckonable for incremental pay; and
  • Included in any probationary period.

Returning to work after parental bereavement leave

When you return to work after some time on parental bereavement leave, you generally have the right to return to the same job.

However, a slightly different rule applies if you return from time on bereavement leave that follows on immediately from some maternity, adoption, paternity leave or shared parental leave (taken in relation to the child who has passed away), and your total time on leave is more than 26 weeks.

In these circumstances, you have the right to return to the same job, unless this is not reasonably practical - in which case you have the right to return to a suitable and appropriate job on the same terms and conditions.

This rule also applies if your leave includes more than four weeks of ordinary parental leave (taken in relation to any child), regardless of the total length of the leave. The Council has a separate policy outlining your right to unpaid Parental Leave, this can be found in the Leave Arrangements Policy on MyView, under 'My Documents'.

If you are taking parental bereavement leave, but are unsure where you stand on your return, please contact for clarification.

Support Services

There are a number of support services available to help bereaved parents locally and nationally, as well as support within the Council, please see a list of these services below:

Counselling Service and Employee Assistance Programme

If an employee wishes to access this service, they can telephone Tel 0800 028 0199. The service is also available to immediate family members and children aged 16 to 24 in full-time education, living in the same household. For further information type in counselling into the intranet or visit the SHE Assure portal or alternatively email

Wellbeing Supporters

A group of staff volunteers who provide an initial source of support for anyone experiencing emotional distress or just needing someone to talk to at work. To contact one of our Wellbeing Supporters or to find out more please refer to the Wellbeing Supporters page on the intranet

National Support Services

Policy Feedback

Should you have any comments regarding this policy, please address them to the HR Policy mailbox –

This policy was first introduced in April 2020.

History of policy changes
Date Page Details of Change Agreed by:
December 2021 5 Adding new EAP details HR

This policy will be reviewed should operational or legislative changes require it.