Jack’s Law: Parents given right to paid leave after loss of a child

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Parents who lose a child under the age of 18, including stillbirths, will now have the legal right to two week’s paid leave from work after the creation of “Jack’s Law”.

The campaign to introduce statutory parental bereavement leave was led by Lucy Herd after her 23-month-old son Jack drowned in a garden pond 10 years ago.

Following the tragedy, Ms Herd discovered that Jack’s father was only legally entitled to three days off work to grieve, one of which had to be used for the funeral.

Jack Herd died just before his second birthday

She told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer she was “completely overwhelmed” when she found out the new legislation, which comes into force in April, is to be named in memory of her son.

“When I started this out, I had to make a positive in Jack’s memory, it was always about making something good out of something so horrible,” she said

She also called for more work to be done to “break down the taboo around grief and bereavement”.

“Everybody deals with grief differently, there is no right way, there is no wrong way to deal with grief – we’re all unique with bereavement.

“But what I’m pleased to say is that hopefully now, if anything tragic like that happens within a family, they will be able to go to their employer and say ‘I need to take time off’ and not have to have the worry of them turning round and saying ‘take it as sick leave or take it as holiday leave.’”

WATCH: Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom welcomes the new law

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said the move was “very welcomed”.

She told Julia: “It’s absolutely right that parents who suffer from the death of a child or a stillbirth have the chance to grieve properly.”

Watch Lucy Herd's full interview here.

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