Company-wide miscarriage policies signpost end of stigma around loss
by Kate Hindmarch, partner in Employment Law at Langleys Solicitors
Following news that Monzo, Channel 4 and London Council are to offer employees paid leave after pregnancy loss, Kate Hindmarch, partner in Employment Law at Langleys Solicitors said: “It’s promising to see several big organisations taking the first steps towards normalising conversations around this type of loss, ensuring that those who need it are receiving the correct support. I hope to see more businesses of all sizes follow suit.
“While it’s great that these organisations are taking the lead on providing women and their partners the safety net of paid leave, there are still a lot of places where this subject is taboo, and employees struggle to prompt conversations around their own circumstances. As a result, many women and men have been left without support during what can be a very traumatic experience, as more than one in five pregnancies, sadly, ends in miscarriage.
“Currently, there is no legal requirement to offer paid miscarriage leave for a woman or her partner, and there is a lot of variation in policies between workplaces. In some organisations, the only option for those affected is to take pregnancy-related sick leave, that is often paid at a fraction of their normal wage. This means that they will have the added stress of dealing with the loss of earnings while trying to grieve.
“More businesses introducing policies that make it easier for people to broach the subject, and encourage them to take the time off they need, is a great way to remove the stigma around this loss. Following these recent high-profile organisations updating their procedures, we should hopefully start to see others doing the same, ensuring that those who need it are receiving the correct support in their time of need.”