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The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill - As Introduced

Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill

[AS INTRODUCED]

Contents


1. Parental bereavement leave
2. Parental bereavement pay
3. Further amendments to do with parental bereavement leave and pay
4. Commencement
5. Short title


Schedule - Further amendments to do with parental bereavement leave and pay.

A
BILL
TO


Make provision about leave and pay for employees whose children have died.

BE IT ENACTED by being passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly and assented to by Her Majesty as follows:


Parental bereavement leave


1. After Article 112E of the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996
insert—

“CHAPTER 4
PARENTAL BEREAVEMENT LEAVE

 

Parental bereavement leave

112EA.—(1) The Department must make regulations entitling an employee who is a bereaved parent to be absent from work on leave under this Article.

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1) an employee is a “bereaved parent” if the employee satisfies specified conditions as to relationship with a child who has died.


(3) The conditions specified under paragraph (2) may be framed, in whole or in part, by reference to the employee’s care of the child before the child’s death.


(4) The regulations must include provision for determining—


(a) the extent of an employee’s entitlement to leave under this Article
in respect of a child;


(b) when leave under this Article may be taken.

 

(5) Provision under paragraph (4)(a) must secure that where an employee is entitled to leave under this Article in respect of a child, the
employee is entitled to at least two weeks’ leave.

(6) Provision under paragraph (4)(b) must secure that leave under this Article must be taken before the end of a period of at least 56 days beginning with the date of the child’s death.


(7) The regulations must secure that where an employee is eligible under paragraph (1) as the result of the death of more than one child, the employee is entitled to leave in respect of each child.


(8) The regulations may make provision about how leave under this
Article is to be taken.

(9) In this Article—


“child” means a person under the age of 18 (see also Article 112EE for the application of this Chapter in relation to stillbirths); “week” means any period of seven days.


(10) In this Article and Articles 112EB and 112ED, “specified” means specified for the time being in regulations made under this Article.

 

Rights during and after bereavement leave

112EB.—(1) Regulations under Article 112EA must provide—


(a) that an employee who is absent on leave under that Article is entitled, for such purposes and to such extent as may be specified, to the benefit of the terms and conditions of employment which would have applied but for the absence;


(b) that an employee who is absent on leave under that Article is bound, for such purposes and to such extent as may be specified, by obligations arising under those terms and conditions (except in so far as they are inconsistent with paragraph (1) of that Article), and


(c) that an employee who is absent on leave under that Article is entitled to return from leave to a job of a specified kind (but this is
subject to Article 112EC(1)).


(2) In paragraph (1)(a), “terms and conditions of employment”—


(a) includes matters connected with an employee’s employment whether or not they arise under the contract of employment, but


(b) does not include terms and conditions about remuneration.


(3) The reference in paragraph (1)(c) to absence on leave under Article 112EA includes, where appropriate, a reference to a continuous period of absence attributable partly to leave under that Article and partly to any one or more of the following—


(a) maternity leave;
(b) paternity leave;
(c) adoption leave;
(d) shared parental leave;
(e) parental leave.


(4) Regulations under Article 112EA may specify matters which are, or are not, to be treated as remuneration for the purposes of this Article.

(5) Regulations under Article 112EA may make provision, in relation to the right to return mentioned in paragraph (1)(c), about—


(a) seniority, pension rights and similar rights;
(b) terms and conditions of employment on return.

 

Special cases


112EC.—(1) Regulations under Article 112EA may make provision
about—


(a) redundancy, or
(b) dismissal (other than by reason of redundancy), during a period of leave under that Article.


(2) Provision by virtue of paragraph (1) may include—


(a) provision requiring an employer to offer alternative employment;
(b) provision for the consequences of failure to comply with the regulations (which may include provision for a dismissal to be treated as unfair for the purposes of Part 11).


Chapter 4: supplemental


112ED. Regulations under Article 112EA may—


(a) make provision about notices to be given, evidence to be produced and other procedures to be followed by employees and employers;
(b) make provision requiring employers or employees to keep records;
(c) make provision for the consequences of failure to give notices, to produce evidence, to keep records or to comply with other
procedural requirements;
(d) make provision for the consequences of failure to act in accordance with a notice given by virtue of paragraph (a);
(e) make special provision for cases where an employee has a right that corresponds to a right under Article 112EA and that arises
under the person’s contract of employment or otherwise;
(f) make provision modifying the effect of Chapter 4 of Part 1 (calculation of a week’s pay) in relation to an employee who is or has been absent from work on leave under Article 112EA;
(g) make provision applying, modifying or excluding a statutory provision, in such circumstances as may be specified and subject to
any conditions which may be specified, in relation to a person entitled to take leave under Article 112EA;
(h) make consequential provision.


Application in relation to stillbirths


112EE. In this Chapter—
(a) references to a child include a child stillborn after twenty-four weeks of pregnancy, and
(b) references to the death of a child are to be read, in relation to a stillborn child, as references to the birth of the child.”.

 

Parental bereavement pay
2. After section 167ZZ8 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits
(Northern Ireland) Act 1992 insert—

“PART 12ZD
STATUTORY PARENTAL BEREAVEMENT PAY

Entitlement
167ZZ9.—(1) A person who satisfies the conditions in subsection (2) is entitled in accordance with the following provisions of this Part to payments to be known as “statutory parental bereavement pay”.


(2) The conditions are—
(a) that the person is a bereaved parent,
(b) that the person has been in employed earner’s employment with an employer for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks ending with the relevant week,
(c) that the person’s normal weekly earnings for the period of 8 weeks ending with the relevant week are not less than the lower earnings limit in force under section 5(1)(a) at the end of the relevant week, and
(d) that the person has been in employed earner’s employment with the employer by reference to whom the condition in paragraph (b)
is satisfied for a continuous period beginning with the end of the relevant week and ending with the day on which the child dies.


(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) an employee is a “bereaved parent” if the employee satisfies prescribed conditions as to relationship with a child who has died.


(4) The conditions prescribed under subsection (3) may be framed, in whole or in part, by reference to the employee’s care of the child before the child’s death.


(5) In subsection (2) “relevant week” means the week immediately before the one in which the child dies.


(6) Where a person satisfies the conditions in subsection (2) as a result of the death of more than one child, the person is entitled to statutory parental bereavement pay in respect of each child.

 

Entitlement: supplementary


167ZZ10.—(1) A person is entitled to payments of statutory parental bereavement pay in respect of any period only if the person gives notice to whoever is liable to make the payments stating the week or weeks in respect of which they are to be paid.


(2) Regulations may provide for the time by which notice under subsection (1) must be given.

(3) The notice must be in writing if the person who is liable to pay the statutory parental bereavement pay so requests.


(4) The Department may by regulations—
(a) provide that section 167ZZ9(2)(b), (c) or (d) has effect subject to prescribed modifications in such cases as may be prescribed;


(b) provide that subsection (1) of this section does not have effect, or has effect subject to prescribed modifications, in such cases as may be prescribed;


(c) impose requirements about evidence of entitlement;


(d) specify in what circumstances employment is to be treated as continuous for the purposes of section 167ZZ9;


(e) provide that a person is to be treated for the purposes of section 167ZZ9 as being employed for a continuous period of at least 26
weeks where—
(i) the person has been employed by the same employer for at least 26 weeks under two or more separate contracts of service, and
(ii) those contracts were not continuous;


(f) provide for amounts earned by a person under separate contracts of
service with the same employer to be aggregated for the purposes
of section 167ZZ9;


(g) provide that—
(i) the amount of a person’s earnings for any period, or
(ii) the amount of the person’s earnings to be treated as comprised in any payment made to the person or for the person’s benefit, is to be calculated or estimated for the purposes of section 167ZZ9 in such manner and on such basis as may be prescribed and that for that purpose payments of a particular class or description made or falling to be made to or by a person shall, to such extent as may be prescribed, be disregarded or, as the case may be, be deducted from the amount of the person’s earnings.

 

Liability to make payments


167ZZ11.—(1) The liability to make payments of statutory parental bereavement pay under section 167ZZ9 is a liability of any person of whom the person entitled to the payments has been an employee as mentioned in subsection (2)(b) and (d) of that section.


(2) The Department must by regulations make provision as to a former employer’s liability to pay statutory parental bereavement pay to a former employee in any case where the employee’s contract of service with the employer has been brought to an end by the employer solely, or mainly, for the purpose of avoiding liability for statutory parental bereavement pay.


(3) The Department may, with the concurrence of the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, by regulations specify
circumstances in which, despite this section, liability to make payments of statutory parental bereavement pay is to be a liability of the
Commissioners.

 

Rate and period of pay


167ZZ12.—(1) Statutory parental bereavement pay is payable at such fixed or earnings-related weekly rate as may be prescribed by regulations, which may prescribe different kinds of rate for different cases.


(2) Statutory parental bereavement pay is payable in respect of—
(a) such week within the qualifying period, or
(b) such number of weeks, not exceeding the prescribed number of weeks, within the qualifying period, as the person entitled may choose in accordance with regulations.


(3) Provision under subsection (2)(b) must secure that the prescribed number of weeks is not less than two.


(4) Regulations under subsection (2)(b) may permit a person entitled to receive statutory parental bereavement pay to choose to receive such pay in respect of non-consecutive periods each of which is a week or a number of weeks.


(5) For the purposes of subsection (2), the qualifying period is to be determined in accordance with regulations, which must secure that it is a period of at least 56 days beginning with the date of the child’s death.


(6) A person is not liable to pay statutory parental bereavement pay to another in respect of any statutory pay week during any part of which the other works under a contract of service with the person.


(7) It is immaterial for the purposes of subsection (6) whether the work referred to in that subsection is work under a contract of service which existed immediately before the statutory pay week or a contract of service which did not so exist.


(8) Except in such cases as may be prescribed, statutory parental bereavement pay is not payable to a person in respect of a statutory pay week during any part of which the person works for any employer who is not liable to pay the person statutory parental bereavement pay.


(9) The Department may by regulations specify circumstances in which there is to be no liability to pay statutory parental bereavement pay in respect of a statutory pay week.


(10) Where for the purposes of this Part or of regulations it is necessary to calculate the daily rate of statutory parental bereavement pay, the amount payable by way of statutory parental bereavement pay for any date is to be taken as one seventh of the weekly rate.


(11) In this section—
“statutory pay week”, in relation to a person entitled to statutory parental bereavement pay, means a week chosen by the person as a
week in respect of which statutory parental bereavement pay is to be payable;
“week” means any period of seven days.

 

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