Lauren Evans (Student)
New legislation named ‘Jack’s Law’ will be coming into force on the 6th April 2020 to help support bereaved parents in the workplace.
What is Jack’s Law?
Jack’s law protects all employed parents after the loss of a child under the age of 18 or those who have suffered a stillbirth after 24 weeks pregnancy. It allows those with parental responsibility to take two weeks statutory bereavement leave (“SPBL”) irrespective of how long they have worked for their employer. For parents who have worked for 6 months this will be paid leave. Before Jacks Law this wasn’t permitted. Lucy Herd lost her son, Jack Herd, in 2010. She has tirelessly campaigned for Jack’s Law which will now be implemented this year as mandatory leave for grieving parents. Lucy said that she ‘couldn’t believe there was no statutory rights for such a desperate and difficult time’.
Who does Jack’s Law apply to?
Jack’s Law covers all employed parents and adults with ‘parental responsibility’. This can include foster parents, adopters, guardians, or close relatives or friends who have assumed the responsibility for the care of the child in the absence of the parents.
How can Leave be taken?
The leave can be taken in a single block, or two blocks of one week within a year of the child’s death.
The Significance of Jacks Law
Prior to Jack’s Law Lucy Herd’s husband discovered he could only take three days paid leave, and any additional time off had to be taken as part of his sick leave or holiday.
The United Kingdom is the only country who will have two weeks statutory leave for bereaved parents. It is estimated that the new law will support around 10,000 parents a year.
At Staffordshire University Legal Advice Clinic (SULAC) we offer free legal advice on both Employment and Family related matters. SULAC is currently open and offers appointments in both Stoke on Trent and Stafford. If you wish to book an appointment with us call 01782 294 800 or alternatively email SULAC@staffs.ac.uk