Most UK employers back extended bereavement leave

Apr 19 | 2022

According to the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) in the UK, 75% of employers support extending Jack’s Law to allow employees experiencing any close family bereavement to take paid time off.

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 said: “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.”