Jack’s Law: what does it mean for teachers?

Overview

The government has announced Jack’s Law. Parents who suffer the devastating loss of a child will be entitled to 2 weeks’ statutory leave.

The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations, which will be known as Jack’s Law in memory of Jack Herd whose mother Lucy campaigned on the issue, will implement a statutory right to a minimum of 2 weeks’ leave for all employed parents 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.

It is set to take effect from April 6 2020, subject to Parliamentary approval of the legislation.

You might also find another support article in our Knowledge Base useful which looks at how you can request leave for exceptional circumstances.

Jack’s Law: how does it practically work in schools?

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 they can match their leave to the times they need it most, which could be in the early days or over the first anniversary.

Parents employed in a job for 6 months or more will also be able to claim statutory pay for this period, in line with the approach for other parental entitlements, such as paternity leave and pay.

We have written other articles which look at maternity and paternity leave and entitlements in school.

The right to Parental Bereavement Leave (PBL) will apply to all employed parents who lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth (from 24 weeks of pregnancy), irrespective of how long they have been with their employer (the leave is a ‘day-one’ employment right).

Parents with at least 26 weeks’ continuous service with their employer and weekly average earnings over the lower earning limit (£118 per week for 2019 to 2020) will also be entitled to Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay (SPBP), paid at the statutory rate of £148.68 per week (for 2019 to 2020), or 90% of average weekly earnings where this is lower.

SPBP will be administered by employers in the same way as existing family-related statutory payments such as Statutory Paternity Pay.

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The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
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