By George Day • 23 January 2020 • 15:11
A new government rule will enable parents to receive two weeks paid bereavement, following the loss of a child.
The newly introduced law will be enforced in April this year. MP’s have said that the UK are the only country to have that right to time off. It will be referred to as ‘Jack’s Law’ in memory of Jack Herd. Jack sadly died at 23 months in 2010, after drowning in a pond. His mother, Lucy, has been campaigning for reform ever since.
Currently, there is no law that provides automatic paid bereavement time. Under the new law, parents who lose a child under the age of 18 will be able to take leave as either a single block of two weeks, or as two separate blocks of one week each across the first year after the death.
Ms Herd told the BBC that she had spoken to her relatives and discovered that some workplaces only allow a maximum of three days to grieve. Anything from 24 hours to three days and any extra time taken had to be sick leave or holiday,” she said.
Ms Herd also told how she had spoken to other parents that had suffered loss. She discovered that many were being treated differently to how their employers had told them they would.
Ms Herd revealed, “More and more people told me they had experienced the same thing. Employers were saying ‘take as much time as you need’, and they were taking six months off, and it was down on their record as being off sick. They’d come back to a P45 on their desk. I had to make a positive out of a negative” in campaigning for change.”
She has also expressed her desire to achieve similar laws for when people have lost loved ones. “When I started this it was about everyone’s bereavement. Grief is grief.”
The Conservatives made a commitment in their 2017 general election manifesto to introduce “a new entitlement to child bereavement leave.”
The new law will enable people that have been employed for a minimum of 26 weeks to be entitled to a minimum payment of up to £148 a week, during their bereavement leave – depending on the level of their salary.
Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said Labour are long time supporters of the proposal and welcomed its arrival. She said: “As set out in our Workers’ Rights Manifesto, Labour is calling for bereavement leave for those who have lost a close family member.”
(Image: Cumbria Police)
Share this story
Subscribe to our Euro Weekly News alerts to get the latest stories into your inbox!
By signing up, you will create a Euro Weekly News account if you don’t already have one. Review our
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Downlaod our media pack in either English or Spanish.