Employment Legislation

Parental Bereavement Pay and Leave: What is Jack's Law?

Legislation

Parental Bereavement Pay and Leave: What is Jack's Law?

Due Date

6 April 2020

Summary

What is Jack’s Law

“Jack’s Law” is named after 23-month-old Jack Herd who died in 2010. His mum Lucy has since been fighting for new government rules to extend bereavement leave for parents who lose a child.

To recognise that losing a child has such a devastating impact on the family, the Government introduced a new piece of legislation – the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018. Parents who lose a child will be entitled to two weeks’ paid bereavement leave, as of 6 April this year.

This new statutory entitlement for bereaved parents, will be paid at the same statutory rate as other family leave such as maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave.

Who is Entitled to Parental Bereavement Leave

The definition of a child in this case is:

There are two areas covered by Jack’s Law:

  • A child, defined as a person who is under the age of 18
  • A stillborn baby at 24 weeks or more into pregnancy

The legislation, originally to be natural parents, has been extended to include primary carers as well.

In order to receive paid time off, the employee must have been employed for a minimum of 26 continuous weeks.

Employees with less than 26 weeks’ continuous service will receive the time off unpaid.

When Can the Bereavement Leave Be Taken

Parental bereavement leave is either one continuous block of two weeks, or two separate one-week blocks. The time can be taken immediately after the death, or at any time up to 56 weeks after the death of the child.

Further, the leave can be taken immediately after the death of the child without having to give a period of notice.

However, if the leave needs to be taken at a later time, the employee must provide one week’s notice. This recognises that it isn’t just the immediate aftermath of the death.

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