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Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act (Northern Ireland) 2022

Background and Policy Objectives

3.Following the introduction of Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay legislation in Great Britain in April 2020, the Minister for the Economy gave a commitment to introduce similar provision for working parents in Northern Ireland.

4.Whilst there is a statutory right to reasonable time off work without pay to deal with circumstances such as the death of a dependant(1), there is no specific entitlement to time off work (paid or otherwise) for parents following the death of a child or a miscarriage.

5.Some employers allow parents to take compassionate leave. This is at the discretion of the employer and there is therefore no minimum standard observed by all employers.

6.The introduction of a specific, statutory entitlement to parental bereavement leave and pay will set a minimum standard for employees and employers. The intention is to provide certainty for employed parents and employers in relation to parents’ right to paid time off work following the death of a child or a miscarriage.


See Article 85A of the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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