Claire McCartney, resourcing and inclusion adviser for the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, comments on Jack’s Law:
“Suffering the loss of a child is a devastating experience and bereaved parents should be treated with compassion and support in the workplace. While the introduction of two weeks’ statutory leave is welcome, this is the absolute minimum that businesses need to do to support a grieving parent.
“The person 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. Organisations need to think of the support they can give to bereaved parents beyond the two-week period laid out in Jack’s Law.
“They need to build supportive cultures and ensure that line managers are able to have sensitive conversations with employees affected. They should also think about how they can support bereaved parents through a phased return to work, flexible working provisions and employee support programmes.
“Many businesses will have counselling, occupational health and employee assistance programmes available to support their people. They should also signpost to relevant organisations and charities that can support bereaved working parents; this will be particularly important for smaller businesses with limited resources.”
“The CIPD fully supports the introduction of ‘Jack’s Law’ and we’ll work with HR professionals and organisations to raise awareness of this important change in law.”