Our new campaign urges workplaces to commit to supporting employees through the distress of miscarriage.
We are encouraging businesses and organisations to take the Pregnancy Loss Pledge to ensure that staff experiencing pregnancy loss get the support and time off they need.
By taking the pledge, organisations agree to meet the M.A.’s standard, which asks that employers endeavour to create a supportive work environment, understand and implement the rules around pregnancy-related leave, have a policy or guidance in place and support people and their partners back to work.
At present, there is no statutory entitlement to paid leave for people who lose a baby before 24 weeks of pregnancy. From 24 weeks, the loss of a baby is legally a stillbirth and mothers are entitled to full maternity leave and both parents are entitled to two weeks of Parental Bereavement Leave.
While there is no legal right to paid time off for those experiencing miscarriage, absence for this reason is protected by pregnancy-related leave rules which mean it must be recorded separately to general sickness and cannot be used against them in any way.
However, a survey we carried out last year showed almost half of respondents felt they had to return to work before they were ready, with many not knowing or not being told about their right to pregnancy-related leave.
M.A. National Director Ruth Bender Atik explains: “Since we launched our workplace resources a year ago, it’s been very heartening to see so many organisations, large and small, who are already committed to supporting their staff through what can be an extremely distressing experience. But we know there is more to be done and our aim is that every workplace acknowledges the impact of pregnancy loss and treats their staff with empathy and understanding.”
Among the companies who have already signed the pledge are the Co-op, Zip financial services, North East-based housing association North Star and Milton Keynes-based Aira, a digital marketing agency.
You can read more about the pledge – and some of the companies who have taken it – here.