Law guide: Employment

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Statutory parental bereavement pay

Statutory parental bereavement pay

Qualifying for statutory parental bereavement pay

A person qualifies for statutory parental bereavement pay (SPBP) if they have:

  • a qualifying relationship with the child (see Parental bereavement leave);
  • at least 26 weeks' continuous service with you by the week immediately before the week in which the child died. The week begins on a Sunday and ends the following Saturday;
  • have average weekly earnings at or above the Lower Earnings Limit for National Insurance contributions by the end of the week immediately before the week in which the child died (see the current LEL here);
  • Given you notice (in writing, if you request it) of the date from which they want to start receiving SPBP, either by the start date or at least 28 after it. They can give you this notice at the same time as their notice for taking the leave itself. If it is not reasonably practicable for the employee to give this notice in time, they should give it to you as soon as possible.
  • Given you with a written declaration (if you request it) that they have a qualifying relationship with the child, and the date on which the child died or was stillborn. The employee won't be paid SPBP if they are receiving sick pay.

Pay rates

SPBP is payable at either the statutory weekly rate (see the current rate here), or 90% of the employee's AWE – whichever is lower.

You can, if you wish, have enhanced parental bereavement pay arrangements to attract and retain employees.

For example, you could:

  • Pay full pay during the employee's parental bereavement leave. However, you could also change the qualification criteria for this enhancement, e.g. the employee needs a year's continuous service.
  • Pay SPBP to all employees, regardless of whether or not they meet the statutory qualification criteria.

You can offer these arrangements as a contractual right. If you offer them on a discretionary, case-by-case basis, you must act reasonably and comply with legislation aimed at tackling discrimination. You should be aware the arrangements may become contractual through 'custom and practice'.

Ending payments

You can stop paying SPBP if an employee:

  • Dies;
  • Works for another employer during the SPBP week; or
  • Is in police custody or has been sentenced to time in prison, unless
    • they're released without charge;
    • found not guilty and released;
    • convicted but not sentenced to time in prison; or
    • their prison sentence is suspended.

You do not have to pay SPBP to an employee for any week during which they do some work for you.

Recovering payments

You can recover 92% of your SPBP payments from the government.

However, if your total annual National Insurance payments are £45,000 or less, you can recover 103%. You can calculate the pay and the amount you can recover on GOV.UK.

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