Three quarters (75%) of employers support extending Jack’s Law to allow employees experiencing any close family bereavement to take paid time off, research from the CIPD finds. 

The finding comes as the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, yesterday co-hosted a Parliamentary event with Patricia Gibson MP for MPs and Lords to discuss Patricia’s Bill on bereavement leave and pay, which will have its second reading on 18 March 2022.

Jack’s Law is a legal right to bereavement leave and pay for working parents who lose a child under the age of 18, however no such right currently exists for those who lose a close family member. The two weeks of paid parental bereavement leave is available to employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service with their employer and weekly average earnings over the lower earnings limit (earning on average at least £120 per week before tax).

Extending the right would mean that employees who experience the loss of a close family member – including a parent, child, or partner, whether by blood, adoption or through marriage/a partner – would also have the right to two weeks’ paid leave from work.

Claire McCartney, senior policy adviser for resourcing and inclusion at the CIPD comments:

"Employees that have experienced a close family bereavement will need time to come to terms with what has happened and will be highly unlikely to be able to perform well at work if they are forced to return too quickly. While many organisations provide paid bereavement leave to support employees at one of the most difficult times of their lives, this is far from universal and extending the statutory provision is likely to give employees time and space to grieve rather than worrying about paying their bills and financial worries."

The CIPD also found: 

  • 80% of employers provide paid bereavement leave for close family members 
  • The most common length of paid leave is 3-5 days (40%), followed by 1-2 days (14%). Just over one in ten (12%) offer 2 weeks of paid leave.

Along with Lucy Herd, founder of Jack’s Rainbow, the CIPD launched guidance for employers on the importance of bereavement support in July 2020.

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