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The Department for the Economy has opened a consultation on introducing legislation for Miscarriage Leave and Pay in Northern Ireland.

This consultation follows the recent introduction of Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay legislation which introduced a right to two weeks’ leave and pay for working parents who experience a still birth after the 24th week of pregnancy.  This consultation proposes extending this protection to a worker or employee who experiences a miscarriage up to the end of the 23rd week of pregnancy.

The Department intends for these rights to be day one rights meaning there will be no qualifying period before an eligible worker or employee can avail of parental bereavement leave/pay following a miscarriage.  As with existing parental bereavement pay there will be a minimum qualifying earnings threshold currently £123 per week.  The consultation also proposes removing the existing 6-month qualifying period for parental bereavement pay entitlements in the case of stillbirth and the death of a child bringing all parental bereavement entitlements into line as day one rights.

Siobhán will be making a Consortium response to this Consultation so please contact Siobhán as soon as possible if you have anything you wish to add to this response.  You can read the Consortium’s previous response to the Department for the Economy’s consultation on Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay here.

The consultation is open until 19 December 2022 and is available on the Department for the Economy website here.