Key features of proposal
Jersey's States Assembly has unanimously approved a proposition to introduce a statutory minimum period of parental bereavement leave.
Following the recent introduction of similar legislation in the United Kingdom (known as "Jack's Law"), it has been agreed that the social security minister will bring forward proposals by the end of March 2022 so that employed parents in Jersey have a "day-one" right to take two weeks of leave following the death of a child under the age of 18.
The key features of the proposal include the following:
- Parents would receive their full salary, paid by the government in the form of a benefit. There would be no cost to the employer.
- Leave would be available to:
- biological parents;
- parents by marriage or civil partnership;
- adoptive parents; and
- foster parents.
- Leave could be taken as a single two-week block or two separate one-week blocks, within 56 weeks of the bereavement.
- It has been agreed that a proposal – not necessarily legislation – will be presented to the States Assembly by March 2022.
The intention is clear – to ensure that grieving parents do not have to request or negotiate time off work following the death of a child.
It is not clear whether the social security minister will direct the Employment Forum to consult. The minister may consider some of the issues raised during the States Assembly debate, including:
- whether the two weeks' pay provided by the government would be capped;
- bereavement leave for other close relatives (as was recently introduced in New Zealand); and
- bereavement leave for parents who experience pregnancy loss before 24 weeks of pregnancy.
The minister indicated that she will focus on finding a workable solution for Jersey in the short time available before the proposal appears before the States Assembly.
For further information on this topic please contact Helen Ruelle, Will Austin-Vautier, Laura Shirreffs or Kate Morel at Ogier by telephone (+44 1534 514000) or email ([email protected], [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]). The Ogier website can be accessed at www.ogier.com.