'Jack's Law' to give bereaved parents two weeks statutory paid leave
The new legal right to paid bereavement will apply to those who have lost a child under the age of 18 and those who have experienced a miscarriage after 24 weeks
Working parents who have experienced the loss of a child are to get two weeks’ statutory leave under UK Government proposals.
The new legal right to paid bereavement, known as ‘Jack’s Law’, will apply to those who have lost a child under the age of 18 and those who have experienced a miscarriage after 24 weeks.
When made into law, it will be the “most generous offer” on bereavement leave in the world, the government has said.
The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations legislation will be known as Jack’s Law in memory of Jack Herd, whose mother campaigned on the issue after her son died aged 18 months in 2010.
Parents will be able to take the leave as either a single block of two weeks, or as two separate blocks of one week each taken at different times in the first year after their child’s death.
This new law arrives ahead of the Government’s new Employment Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech in December, which will introduce a raft of further measures to benefit workers and businesses including carer’s leave and neonatal pay, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial strategey has said.
Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom, who will lay the legislation in Parliament, said: “There can be few worse experiences in life than the loss of a child and I am proud that this government is delivering ‘Jack’s Law’, making us the first country in the word to do so.
“When it takes effect, Jack’s Law will be a fitting testament to the tireless efforts of Lucy Herd, alongside many charities, to give parents greater support.”
Jack’s mother, Lucy Herd, said: “When I started this campaign ten years ago after the death of my son Jack, I always hoped that a positive change would happen in his memory. Knowing that nearly ten years of campaigning has helped create ‘Jack’s Law’ is the most wonderful feeling, but it is bittersweet at the same time.
“I am so grateful to all those involved who have helped make this possible. I was told many times that I would not succeed but Jack’s Law will now ensure that bereaved parents are better protected in the future.”
Steven Wibberley, Chief Executive of Cruse Bereavement Care, said: “We are delighted that the new paid bereavement leave entitlement is one step closer to coming into force. It will make a huge difference to bereaved parents across the country, whose lives have been shattered by the death of a child.
“I cannot stress enough how important it is that parents are given time and space to grieve in the aftermath of a child’s death. Support from employers can play a huge part in this. We are pleased the Government has laid out the minimum provision for bereaved parents, and we know many employers will go much further than this.
“We look forward to working with the Government to ensure employers know about these changes, and to support bereaved parents in their workforce.”