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Jack’s Law

2209. Lucy Herd

Lucy Herd, from Berkshire, successfully led the campaign to introduce ‘Jack’s Law’, which came into force in April 2020 and ensures all parents who lose a child receive two weeks’ paid bereavement leave.

Lucy started the campaign in memory of her son, Jack, who died before the age of two in 2010, having fallen into a pond. Following the incident, Lucy discovered that the amount of leave an individual is entitled to after an immediate family death, was at the discretion of the employer. Having to wait 42 weeks before she could speak to anyone about her grief led Lucy to channel her grief into driving towards a statutory entitlement. The change in law, following Lucy’s campaign, makes the UK the only country in the world to guarantee the right of parental bereavement leave.

With the new law in place, Lucy now runs ‘Grief and a Cuppa’ support groups to further help people through bereavement, as well as producing and delivering resources and workshops on grief training for workplaces and raising awareness about drowning.

The award for Lucy coincides with Grief Awareness Week, which is.dedicated to raising awareness about grief, providing support to those who are grieving, and fostering a better understanding of the grieving process.

In a personal letter to Lucy, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: 

“Since you so tragically lost Jack thirteen years ago, you have shown such strength and courage to help others through their grief and to campaign for parents to have the right to two weeks’ paid bereavement leave after the loss of a child. It is a wonderful tribute to your son’s memory, that Jack’s Law now guarantees this, giving families such crucial space to grieve.

“I also want to thank you for all the wider work you do as a Grief and Loss therapist, from your Grief and a Cuppa support groups to your resources and workshops on grief training for workplaces.”

Congratulating Lucy on her award, Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy at the time ‘Jack’s Law’ came into force, said:

“Congratulations to Lucy on receiving this superb recognition of her campaigning to introduce ‘Jack’s Law’, and her subsequent efforts to set up support groups for those dealing with grief. As a result of Lucy’s dedicated campaign, in my capacity as the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in 2020 I committed the Government to implementing the right to two weeks leave for all employed parents whose child under the age of 18 dies or who suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. She should be very proud that “Jack’s Law” now supports around 10,000 parents a year suffering from the most devastating loss.”

Lucy said:

“I am so grateful and utterly surprised to have received the Points of Light award for my work with Jacks Law and supporting the bereaved and during grief awareness week too. Everything I have done with my campaigning and as a Grief and Loss therapist is all in my son Jack’s memory. He is my guiding light in all that I do. I hope that being awarded this award will increase the awareness around the need for better bereavement support in the workplace and in education so that Grief is more widely recognised as something that needs more attention in our communities.

“Thank you for the recognition I’m blown away.”

Find out more about ‘Lucy’s work

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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