From April, parents who lose a child will be entitled to two weeks’ paid bereavement leave under new government rules.
The UK is the only country at this time to have bereavement leave enshrined in law, and it will be known as “Jack’s Law” in memory of Jack Herd, whose mother Lucy has been campaigning for reform since he drowned aged 23 months in 2010.
Until this point, employers have been able to use their discretion as to what was offered to parents for bereavement as there is no legal entitlement.
It could be treated as sickness or holiday, and paid in accordance with the sickness and holiday policies of the business. Parents of stillborn children are entitled to maternity and paternity leave and that still stands from April as before.
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 depending on their needs.
People who have been employed for at least 26 weeks will be entitled to a minimum payment of up to £148 a week during their bereavement leave, depending on the level of their salary.