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Parents who lose a child to get two weeks of leave under new law

Parents who suffer the loss of a child under the age of 18 will be legally entitled to two weeks' leave from work under 'Jack's Law', the Government has announced.

The new law takes effect from 6 April 2020 and parents will be able to take the leave as either a single block of two weeks, or as two separate blocks of one week each taken at different times across the first year after their child's death.

It will apply to all employed parents who lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth (from 24 weeks of pregnancy), no matter how long they have been with their employer.

Those who've worked continuously for six months for their employer and have weekly average earnings over the lower earning limit – £118 per week – will also be entitled to statutory parental bereavement pay (SPBP), paid at the rate of £148.68 per week, or 90% of average weekly earnings if this is lower.

The law is known as Jack's Law, in memory of Jack Herd, whose mother Lucy has campaigned on the issue since her 23-month-old son Jack died in 2010. Lucy found out the law only allowed Jack's father three days off work to grieve, one of which had to be the funeral.

What does the Government say?

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: "There can be few worse experiences in life than the loss of a child, and I am proud that this Government is delivering 'Jack's Law', making us the first country in the world to do so.

"When it takes effect, Jack's Law will be a fitting testament to the tireless efforts of Lucy Herd, alongside many charities, to give parents greater support."

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