ALL Gibraltar public sector workers whose children pass away will get two weeks off work to overcome the tragedy.
The paid leave, first introduced a month ago for children under 18, is now being expanded to adult offspring too.
The Gibraltar government measure is designed to alleviate the enormous pain which comes with losing a child.
Child deaths have a profound impact on mental health, often causing depression and helplessness.
It is known as ‘Jack’s Law’ after Jack Herd, a UK toddler who died in a tragic accident in 2010.
His mother, Lucy Herd, campaigned tirelessly for parents to be given time to grieve for her son.
She won this campaign in 2018 when the UK government passed the Parental Bereavement Bill.
The law applies to stillbirths from 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Leave can be taken either in a block of two weeks or as two separate weeks spread throughout the year after a child’s death.
It is common for parents to need to take time out to carry out paperwork after a child’s death.
This was put across by Lucy Herd when she argued for the bereavement law.
“In the immediate aftermath of the death parents have to cope with their own loss and the grief of their wider family, including other children,” said Herd.
“There is a vast amount of administrative and other arrangements as a sudden or accidental death may require a post mortem or inquest
“There is a funeral to arrange and many other organisations to contact from schools to benefit offices.”
While the UK law only cover children under the age of 18, the Gibraltar authorities wanted to go one better.
“The Government feels that the parents’ pain and suffering are the same whether the ‘child’ is 17 or 37 so it has now been decided to remove the threshold of 18 years of age,” No.6 Convent Place.
“Jack’s Law will apply, no matter what the age of the ‘child’ and, as a result, bereaved parents of adult children will also be entitled to the two weeks of statutory leave.”
The law will apply from April this year but is limited to government workers at this stage.