Scandi-owned global retail furniture brand JYSK today announced it would double the Government’s new paid leave measures in the UK for parents who have lost a child for any of its staff who might be affected.
The new law, which comes into force in April, has been named Jack’s Law in memory of Jack Herd. Jack’s mother Lucy has been campaigning for reform since her little boy drowned aged just 23 months in 2010.
At the moment there is no automatic right to paid time off for bereavement: the UK is set to lead the way.
Under the new law, parents who lose a child under the age of 18 can now take two weeks leave either as a fortnight or two blocks of one week each at any time during the first year after the death.
While the new law is being hailed as a compassionate and long-awaited breakthrough, JYSK UK wanted to do more.
Country Manager for JYSK UK, David Ashton, said: “We took the decision, today, that JYSK UK will add a further two weeks’ paid leave to the new Jack’s Law entitlement for our colleagues. We sincerely hope it’s never used but having four weeks when you don’t have to work and the bills still get paid is, we believe, something we can do for our people should they ever need it.”
JYSK UK’s HR manager, Dawn Howe, one of the senior team behind today’s decision, chose to share why she is so committed to extending the helping hand offered by a law hard-won by Jack Herd’s Mum Lucy.
She said: “I have been through the trauma of losing a child myself. I know from experience you never get over that loss but something like this would have really helped me when I was struggling. Anyone who has been through an experience like this will know that four weeks paid leave won’t ease the pain, but it does offer one less thing to worry about. I’m proud to be part of a company that has simply seen this as ‘the right thing to do’ and done it.
David Ashton added: “I really do hope others will follow suit and acknowledge we now have a minimum. I would also hope we treat it as a minimum in our industry and others – and commit to do even more.
The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill, committed to by the Conservatives in the Party’s 2017 election manifesto, received royal assent in 2018, and will now come into force in April.