It can be difficult thinking about practicalities and finances when your baby has died and everything is so raw. However, it’s useful to know what support you’re entitled to because it could offer you some breathing space and allow you some more quiet time to grieve before returning to work.
Mothers are entitled to 52 weeks’ Maternity Leave
You are entitled to the full 52 weeks of Maternity Leave if your baby dies shortly after birth.
For Shared Parental Leave the mother has to opt out of her maternity leave and give notice to her employers of when her maternity leave will end. If notice has not already been given before the baby dies, the other partner is no longer entitled to shared parental leave and pay.
If a baby dies and parents have already opted into shared parental leave and pay, you are still able to take any leave you have already booked but are no longer entitled to any leave they have not already booked with their employers.
Leave and financial help you are entitled to after a neonatal death
- Statutory Maternity Pay: Your right to maternity pay is as it would be if the baby had survived.
- Maternity Allowance Your right to maternity allowance is as it would be if the baby had survived.
- Statutory Paternity Pay Your right to paternity pay is as it would be if the baby had survived.
- Shared Parental Leave Payments This only applies now if your leave has already been booked and notice given to employer. No new periods of leave can be booked.
- Child Benefit You are eligible to Child Benefit for 8 weeks, starting from when a baby died. Claims can be put in three months after this date..
- Child Tax Credit You may be able to claim tax credits from the time your baby died for 8 weeks
- Sure Start maternity grant Your right to Sure Start maternity grants is as it would be if the baby had survived.
- Free prescriptions and dental treatment Your right to free prescriptions and dental treatment is as it would be if the baby had survived
- Healthy start vouchers You are not eligible but any vouchers you have already claimed can be used
If you gave birth before your Maternity Leave started, your leave starts the day after you gave birth.
You may be entitled to Maternity Pay from your employer, Maternity Allowance, or income-related benefits from the state.
Dads, or partners, may be entitled one or two consecutive weeks’ Paternity Leave from your employer. Sick Leave and Sick Pay, Compassionate Leave or Time Off for Dependants. You will need to look at your contract and contact your employer.
This booklet called ‘Late miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death – A guide to the financial help available’, by the Money Advice Service breaks down all the information here in more detail.
You’ll find more information and advice on rights and benefits.
Your local Job Centre or JobCentre Plus (in Northern Ireland: Jobs and Benefits Office, or Social Security Office) can offer information and advice.
Freephone helpline: 0800 013 0313 Email: [email protected]
Sara Brooke Curtis lost her baby daughter, Lilia, only 3 days after she was born. With 1 in 4 pregnancies in the UK ending in loss during pregnancy or birth, sadly, Sara is not alone.
Every time I stepped foot in the Rainbow Clinic for an appointment I was uneasy only because I didn’t know what they would find but they understood this.
Mum to Melody, born too soon. Blogger at Melody and Me and premature birth group support leader. This is Julz.
Founder of 'Feathering the Empty Nest', blogger and author of 'Say His Name'. This is Elle.
After losing one of her twin daughters shortly after birth, Millie Smith decided to launch a scheme that uses stickers in neonatal wards to identify babies who have lost their siblings.
ℹLast reviewed on October 4th, 2018. Next review date October 4th, 2021.