Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar is set to introduce ‘Jack’s Law,’ under which bereaved parents will be entitled to two weeks of paid leave from work. In the UK, this initiative became known as ‘Jack’s Law’ in memory of Jack Herd whose mother, Lucy Herd, campaigned relentlessly on the issue.
Under ‘Jack’s law,’ working parents who suffer the devastating loss of a child under the age of 18, or who suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy, will be entitled to two weeks statutory leave.
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.
This proposed initiative follows the UK’s Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations which are planned to come into effect on 6 April 2020. However, the implementation date for Gibraltar is 1 February 2020.
The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo QC, said: ‘In the UK, Lucy Herd has been tireless in her campaign for bereaved parents. She has made the UK Government aware that in the immediate aftermath of a child dying, parents have to cope with their own loss, the grief of their wider family, including other children, as well as a vast amount of administrative paperwork and other arrangements. The situation in Gibraltar is no different: I am pleased that my Government have listened to Lucy’s arguments and have taken such speedy action: indeed, we intend to implement ‘Jack’s Law’ even before it comes into force in the UK.’