What is the legal position over bereavement leave?

Q

What is the legal position over bereavement leave?

A

Present law in England does not deal specifically with bereavement leave (but see below on new legislation in early 2020).

Section 57A of the Employment Rights Act (ERA) does grant an employee the right to have a “reasonable amount of time off from working time” to deal with an emergency, such as a bereavement involving a dependant. There is no right to paid leave. Therefore, this will be for the employer to decide; in this context a dependant is:

  • a spouse or civil partner

  • a child

  • a parent

  • a person who lives in the same household as the employee, otherwise than by reason of being their employee, tenant, lodger or boarder.

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