In April 2020 a new law, known as Jack’s Law, is due to be introduced in the UK, allowing working parents who suffer the devastating loss of a child the right to a minimum of 2 weeks’ leave if they lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy, irrespective of how long they have worked for their employer.
Grieving parents will be able to take the leave as either a single block of 2 weeks, or as 2 separate blocks of one week each taken at different times across the first year after their child’s death. This means parents can match their leave to the times they most need it, which could be in the early days or over the first anniversary.
Every year, in the UK, around 7,500 child deaths, including around 3,000 stillbirths, tragically happen. The government estimates that this new entitlement will help to support around 10,000 grieving parents a year.
The UK is one of a small number of countries worldwide to offer such support and is the first to offer a full 2 weeks bereavement leave. The new law is due to be introduced on 6 April 2020.
Additionally, parents who have been employed in a job for 6 months or more will be able to claim statutory pay for the 2-week period.