Around 7,500 child deaths, including around 3,000 stillbirths, occur in the UK every year. I hate the fact my son is a statistic but that’s the sad reality of it.
Each year, 10,000 families like us are trying to live with the worst trauma that any parent can face. On top of that, parents have the financial worry of time of work and funeral expenses. When my Jack died, I was very fortunate that I worked for the council so I was eligible for 6 months full sick pay. Unfortunately, that is not the case for many bereaved parents. As there was no law entitling parents to paid bereavement leave, many parents are forced to go back to work before they are ready, many parents lose their jobs or end up in debt due to funeral expenses etc. This is why we provide school uniforms, xmas presents and do xmas wishes for siblings, this is also why we provide our counseling free, we are trying to take some of the financial pressures from families who have lost a child.
It is so sad that it took the death of a child to change the law of paid bereavement leave.
Thanks to “Jacks Law”, as of April 2020, the government 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.
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.
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. This is the most generous offer on parental bereavement pay and leave in the world, set to take effect from April. Well done Jack and Lucy!! What a beautiful boy you have, his legacy will help so many others who face this heartache.
We really do need to talk more about child death, we need to break this taboo to ensure bereaved parents get the emotional and financial support that they need. With the help of your fundraising, Brightest Star will continue to provide counselling free to families, provide school uniforms, Xmas presents and wishes to bereaved families xx
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