Branch Secretary :

'Jacks Law' should be first step in extending bereavement leave

Time off for grieving parents


Unite has called on the government to extend bereavement leave to those who have lost a close relative or suffered a miscarriage following the announcement today that grieving parents will be entitled to two weeks statutory leave. 


The new legislation, which is known as Jack’s Law and will come into force in April, means parents who have lost a child will be entitled to two weeks statutory paid leave from work.


Extend bereavement leave 


Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said: “Jack’s Law is a welcome first step in providing leave for people who have suffered a bereavement. Legislation must now be extended to include leave for those who have lost a close family member or are dealing with the grief of miscarriage. 


“Where the union has negotiated bereavement and miscarriage leave policies, there are protections. In other workplaces, people can feel isolated and be pressured into working or even risk their job by taking the time they need.


Forced to return to work


“It is not enough to rely on the kindness of employers to ensure that people are given the time to process their loss. Bereaved workers are being forced to return to work before they have had even the semblance of a chance to recover, especially in industries where exploitative or insecure working practices are rife.


“Not only is this inhumane but for those working with heavy machinery or in hazardous environments it is a safety issue too.”


The news is a good opportunity for Unite reps to campaign amongst members and to take the case to management.


January 23rd 2020


Before Posting

We welcome debate and discussion on our website, but we also want an open, respectful, inclusive space in which forms of abuse or personal attack will not be tolerated. Comments will be moderated and will be removed if they are found to be unduly offensive. You should also be very careful in posting information about your employer. Employers do visit the website and if you think a comment could get you into trouble for releasing confidential or sensitive information, or for bringing the employer into disrepute, please do not post it. It remains your individual responsibility to ensure that what you post is appropriate. Please therefore just give a moment's thought to what you are saying. The types of comments that are likely to be moderated are:

  • Personal abuse or attacks on an individual.
  • Information which breaches another person's right to confidentiality.
  • The use of offensive language, including swear words, or language which is racist, sexist, or otherwise breaches equalities standards.
  • Anything that might place the Branch or the wider union in legal jeopardy.
  • Adverts or information which is posted for commercial gain.

* Name
* Email (will not be published)
* field is required