A new law that gives parents who lose a child two weeks' paid bereavement leave, named Jack's Law, is to be introduced in the UK. Dr Erika Kispeter from the Warwick Institute for Employment Research comments on what this means for working parents.
Dr Kispeter said: “The new law is an important step towards giving employees the right to paid bereavement leave. Until this new law comes into force next April, employees only have the right to ‘time off for dependants’, allowing them an unspecified, ‘reasonable’ amount of leave and it was up to the employer whether this leave was paid or unpaid.
“Employers may have bereavement leave policies in place already, and some of these may be more ‘generous’ than the new law, however, companies are not under any legal obligation to have such policies. With the new law, they will be under legal obligation.
“The limits of the new law are also important to highlight: it only applies to parents who have lost a child and only if the parents are ‘employees’. This an important distinction, because there are groups of the UK workforce who are not categorised as employees: rather, they are ‘workers’, employed by agencies or are self-employed, and they will not be affected by this new law.”
23 January 2020
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