THE tragic death of a Furness toddler has sparked a new law to give grieving parents paid time off work.

Jack's Law was created in memory of Jack Herd, whose mother Lucy has been campaigning for reform since 2010 when the 23-month-old drowned in a pond at their home in Stank, near Barrow.

She was forced to return to work after three days off. There was no legislation that entitled employees to time off in the event of a death of a family member or friend.

The tragedy devastated the family, but she embarked on a campaign asking the government to give parents improved statutory bereavement leave following the death of a child. Her eight-year battle ended in victory in 2018 after the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill received royal assent. Employed parents who lose a child under 18 will now receive two weeks’ paid leave under the act,

And now, Jack's Law has been rubber-stumped by South Lakeland District Council (SLDC).

The new right was agreed unanimously at SLDC's human resources committee and becomes part of new employment contracts for employees at SLDC.

The change will be effective immediately and will recognise the right to a minimum of two weeks paid leave for all employed parents if they lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a still birth from 24 weeks of pregnancy, irrespective of how long they have worked for the council.

Employees will see a new part to their contracts saying ‘Parental Bereavement Leave’.

Previously at SLDC the council paid up to one working week to support employees in the event of a death of a close family member. A further working week of unpaid leave may have been granted if required /requested by the member of staff.