Parents who lose child to get two paid weeks off work

The new legal right is known as Jack's Law, in memory of 23-month old Jack Herd who drowned in a pond in 2010.

Parents who suffer the loss of a child under 18 will be entitled to two weeks’ paid leave from work under a new law.

The right, coming into force from April, is the most generous offer on parental bereavement pay and leave in the world, UK Government ministers said.

The regulations will be known as Jack’s Law, in memory of Jack Herd, whose mother Lucy has been campaigning on the issue since her 23-month-old son Jack drowned in a pond in 2010.

She found out the law only allowed Jack’s father three days off work to grieve, one of which had to be the funeral.

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 word 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.”

Mrs Herd said: “In the immediate aftermath of a child dying, parents have to cope with their own loss, the grief of their wider family, including other children, as well as a vast amount of administrative paperwork and other arrangements.

“A sudden or accidental death may require a post-mortem or inquest, there is a funeral to arrange and there are many other organisations to contact, from schools to benefit offices.

“When I started this campaign ten years ago after the death of my son Jack, I always hoped that a positive change would happen in his memory.

“Knowing that nearly ten years of campaigning has helped create Jack’s Law is the most wonderful feeling, but it is bittersweet at the same time.”

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.

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