Parental Bereavement Leave Regulations 2020

The UK is set to introduce ‘Jack’s Law’ – a new legal right entitling grieving parents to paid parental bereavement leave which will come into effect on 6th April this year.

The Government has laid two sets of Regulations before Parliament that will bring in the right to paid parental bereavement leave. The Parental Bereavement Leave Regulations 2020 will introduce the right to leave, while the Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay (General) Regulations 2020 will govern the right to pay during such leave.

The introduction of the Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations, which will be known as Jack’s Law in memory of Jack Herd whose mother Lucy campaigned tirelessly on the issue, will mean that an employee who loses a child under the age of 18, or suffers a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy, will be entitled to two weeks’ statutory leave to be taken in one block or as two separate blocks of a week. The leave will be paid for employees who have at least 26 weeks’ service and who meet minimum earnings criteria.
Statutory parental bereavement pay will be paid at the same rate as statutory maternity/paternity/adoption pay, i.e. £151.20 per week (from April 2020) or 90% of weekly earnings if lower.

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.”

Over the coming months, it will be necessary to update company policies to reflect the implementation of these changes. It would be ideal for all changes to be in place before 31 March 2020, giving employees time to acknowledge the changes.

The introduction of a new company policy is a good opportunity to give your company handbook/polices a health check and I’d be happy to chat through your circumstances and requirements.