UK advances paid parental bereavement leave entitlement

Connecticut Enacts Paid Family and Medical Leave

Parents who suffer the loss of a child will be entitled to two weeks of paid leave in April — the UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy announced on 23 Jan 2020. Regulations for the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 — known as “Jack’s Law” — were introduced in Parliament and subject to approval, will be effective on 6 Apr 2020. The right to paid parental bereavement leave makes the UK one of a small group of countries worldwide to offer such support, and the first to offer a full two weeks. 


  • Employees will have the right to a minimum of two weeks leave 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. 
  • Parents employed continuously in a job for six months or more and earning above the lower earnings limit (LEL) 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. Employers would administer the pay in the same way as existing family-related statutory payments. The LEL currently is £118 per week, but proposals before parliament would increase it to £120 per week for the tax year 2020/21. 

Leave could be taken as either a single block of two weeks, or as two separate blocks of one week each in the 56 weeks after a child’s death.  

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Stephanie Rosseau
by Stephanie Rosseau

Principal, Mercer’s Law & Policy Group

Fiona Webster
by Fiona Webster

Principal, Mercer’s Law & Policy Group

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