Paternity Leave (Bereavement) Act 2024 passed before Parliament went into recess

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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

The sudden announcement of a general election to be held on 4 July left only a few days before Parliament closed down and gave the Government the problem of which items of legislation to quickly push through the adoption process.

One that was saved was the Paternity Leave (Bereavement) Act 2024 which has now been published.

Extending to England and Wales and Scotland, it will come into force when the relevant Secretary of State decides to introduce the necessary regulations.

Under the law as it currently stands, paternity leave only lasts for a maximum of two weeks and bereaved partners can only take statutory paternity leave if they satisfy minimum service requirements.

The new Act amends the Employment Rights Act 1996 after a Labour MP, Chris Elmore, put forward a Private Members’ Bill when he was approached by Aaron Horsey, from Nottingham, who found that he did not qualify for shared parental leave when his wife, Bernadette, died while giving birth to their son.

He had recently changed jobs and had not been working for the new company for the required length of time.

Under the Act, which was passed with cross-party support, bereaved fathers or non-birthing partners will automatically get the right to day-one paternity leave if the mother, or a person with whom a child is placed or expected to be placed for adoption, dies.

The condition preventing bereaved partners who have already taken shared parental leave from taking paternity leave is removed and, where both the mother and child die, bereaved partners will still be able to take leave.

Visit BrAInbox today where you can find answers to questions like Is there a time limit on when paternity leave has to be taken?

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