New Paid Parental Bereavement Leave Law – Jack’s Law

Paid Parental Bereavement Leave Law

Paid Parental Bereavement Leave legislation comes into effect from 6 April 2020.  Parents who suffer the loss of a child will be entitled to two weeks’ paid statutory leave under this new legislation known as ‘Jack’s Law’.  “Jack’s Law” is named after the 23-month-old Jack Herd who died in 2010. The new regulations come under the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018.   The UK has become the first country to introduce this as law.

From 6 April 2020, all employees who lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy, will be entitled to 2 weeks’ statutory leave.  Leave can be taken in either:

  • one block of 2 weeks; or
  • two separate blocks of one week.

Employees with at least 26 weeks’ employment who meet minimum earnings criteria, will qualify for Statutory Paid Parental Bereavement Leave.  The payment is at the same rate as Statutory Paternity Pay.

  • The ‘relevant week’ (ending with a Saturday) is the week before the week in which the child dies
  • The ‘relevant period’ is the period of 8 weeks ending with the relevant week

Entitlement must be taken within 56 weeks, starting with the date of the child’s death.  It can start on any day of the week.  And, if the loss of more than one child is experienced the entitlement is granted for each child.

The employee must provide evidence of entitlement in writing.  This should include a written declaration that the person meets the qualifying conditions for Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay including details of:

  • the name of the person claiming SPBP
  • the date of the child’s death (or date of birth for a stillborn child) and
  • the period or periods in relation to statutory parental bereavement pay being paid.

Payment will be calculated at the statutory payment rate in force for the year (currently £148.68 per week or 90% of average weekly earnings if less). Increases are applied each tax year in line with other statutory parental payments.

Only parents employed for six months or more will be eligible to claim statutory pay for this period.

Dealing with the death of a child is traumatic time for parents.  ‘Jack’s Law’ will provide a statutory framework to help employers and HR departments provide a more structured and supportive way to help employees deal with the devastating loss of a child.