Many of us have experienced the loss of a pregnancy, and no matter the circumstances, it can be complex and emotional.
Despite the life changing nature of losing a baby, many people still feel it’s something they have to hide. Losses remain private for a whole host of reasons – for some because it’s too hard to talk about, and for others, concerns over how they will be perceived, particularly in their workplace, take over.
Under existing UK employment law, businesses are only obligated to offer statutory leave to employees who experience a stillbirth after 24 weeks. We don’t think this goes far enough.
We believe not formally recognising the need to grieve the loss of a pregnancy at any stage is damaging, and reinforces the taboo of pregnancy loss.
We want this to change.
“I have lost four babies at different stages of my pregnancies and I know first hand the toll it can take both physically and emotionally.
“Every pregnancy carries hope and excitement, and every loss, no matter how far into the pregnancy, leaves a permanent mark of sadness on your heart. It’s here that employers can step in and support employees through what is likely to be a hugely difficult time.”
Sharon Flaherty, BrandContent CEO
At BrandContent both male and female employees who are affected by baby loss at any point before 24 weeks of pregnancy, whether that’s through miscarriage, termination, or a loss via surrogacy, will be offered two weeks’ time off at full pay, six counselling sessions, and a phased return to work. This is a starting point – we’ll work with every employee to ensure they feel supported at every stage.
We want to encourage all small businesses to do the same, and offer support to employees who lose a pregnancy by putting a clear policy in place.
Jacqui Clinton, who directs the corporate Pregnancy and Parenting at Work service offered by Tommy’s, the UK’s largest pregnancy and baby loss charity, said:
“Baby loss at any stage in pregnancy is one of the most heart-breaking things any family can experience – and one that’s endured all too frequently, but often quietly, because of persistent stigma in society. It’s fantastic to see companies acknowledging this impact and tackling this taboo by creating dedicated leave policies; this will help anyone who’s struggling to reach out, and to feel confident and supported in doing so.”
The government may not recognise baby loss before 24 weeks but we can.
If you agree, make your pledge by letting us know and commit to putting a pregnancy loss policy in place by 15th October 2021 – the end of Baby Loss Awareness Week.
And if you already have one, let us know and we will champion your business.