The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (Remedial) Order 2020 came into force on 6 October 2020. The order extends the categories of people entitled to the statutory bereavement award.
A statutory bereavement award is given in cases where someone has died due to negligence. It is set at a fixed limit, currently £12,980, and could only be claimed by people in the following categories:
- Spouse or civil partner of the person who has died
- Parent, if the person who has died is under 18
The new law includes “cohabitating partners” meaning that couples who are living together at the time of the death, and have been living together for two years, can also claim the statutory bereavement award where death has occurred due to negligence.
The new guidance will only apply to deaths on or after 6 October 2020 and is not retrospective.
Amy Greaves, Principal Associate, said: “We have known for some time that the law would be changing to include cohabitees and it is good to see that the changes have finally been made. The change in law has long been required and reflects a more modern society where people can live together, in committed relationships, without being married or in a civil partnership.”