The government has announced that from April this year there will be a new legal right to two weeks’ paid bereavement leave, to be called ‘Jack’s Law’, in memory of Jack Herd whose mother campaigned on the issue.
It is believed this is a world first and means bereaved parents in the UK will have a legal right to two weeks' paid leave if they lose a child.
The leave will be brought into law through The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations.
What does the bereavement leave law mean in practice?
The right to Parental Bereavement Leave (PBL) will apply to all employed parents who lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth (from 24 weeks of pregnancy), irrespective of how long they have been with their employer (the leave is a ‘day-one’ employment right).
Parents with at least 26 weeks’ continuous service with their employer and weekly average earnings over the lower earning limit (£118 per week for 2019 to 2020) will also be entitled to Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay (SPBP), paid at the statutory rate of £148.68 per week (for 2019 to 2020), or 90% of average weekly earnings where this is lower.
SPBP will be administered by employers in the same way as existing family-related statutory payments such as Statutory Paternity Pay.
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 including carer’s leave and neonatal pay alongside the previously announced changes in the Good Work Plan which will come into effect in April 2020.
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