Jersey's government backs bereavement leave for parents who lose a child

Jersey States Assembly has backed bereavement leave for parents who lose a child, similar to 'Jack's Law' in the UK.

It means parents who have lost a child could be entitled to two weeks bereavement leave, without having to request or negotiate time off work.

Politicians voted to support the proposal which asks the Social Security Minister to bring forward legislation to the States Assembly to make the bereavement leave law. They also supported a proposal for the government to fully meet the cost of the scheme. It is expected that once passed the new law would come into effect in 2022.

There is currently no legal protection for parents and compassionate leave is left in the hands of each employer to decide how much time off to give.

It is a move that parents who have lost a child in Jersey say is long overdue.

The Hutching's family lost their daughter three years ago to Pearson syndrome. Credit: ITV Channel

The backing for the new law is something that one charity in Jersey wholeheartedly agrees with.

Jo Nash, founder of Philips's Footprints, has been calling for parents to have legal rights to paid bereavement leave for some time.

Jo Nash, from Philip's Footprints, is delighted that it has got this far and will be going through into legislation next year. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Under the new legislation, entitlement to Parental Bereavement Leave would be accessible to any employed parent who loses a child under the age of 18.

Deputy Steve Ahier, who brought forward the proposition, is also hopeful that the Social Security department will fund the changes.

Deputy Steve Ahier brought forward the proposition to the States Assembly. Credit: ITV Channel