Pregnancy loss and the workplace – UK Coaching
A charity with 82 employees supporting coaches of all levels, from grass roots to elite performance.
What prompted your company to look at a pregnancy loss policy?
Head of People and Culture Amy Doram explains: “With the introduction of a new People and Culture team in January, it was an ideal time to consider our overall approach to supporting our people and the type of culture that we wanted to create.
“I was triggered in an introductory meeting with one of our employees as part of a ‘get to know you’ session where mentioned she had suffered a pregnancy loss after unsuccessful IVF. Whilst she did very feel supported by the organisation, the approach was solely down to the empathy and support she was shown by her line manager as we didn’t have any guidance or training in place across the organisation. My goddaughter also miscarried during lockdown and wasn’t supported at all by her organisation and I wanted us to be the best we could be.”
How did you go about it?
Amy continued: “In the People and Culture team, we have an ethos of ‘even better if…’ meaning that even if we believe our approach, policies and guidance are good, we challenge ourselves to consider what could be even better if… and then we look at the implications and base our decisions on the rationale.
“We also canvassed a number of employees on their thoughts and researched various pregnancy loss charities such as the Miscarriage Association, SANDS, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service and Maternity Action. We also reached out to Miscarriage for Men as we believe in fairness and support for anyone who experiences loss, not just the birth mother.
“We have an extremely supportive Exec team here at UK Coaching and the whole team were onboard immediately. We believe in doing the right thing for our people.”
And what was the end result?
Amy said: “The end result is a non-judgemental, robust pregnancy loss policy, covering miscarriage, ectopic, molar, still birth or abortion. It provides support and guidance to both line managers and the employee, and we have written it in a way which we believe speaks directly to the employee.
“We also have provision for time off and/or mental health support for the partners of someone experiencing a pregnancy loss, and also potential grandparents. Pregnancy losses are felt throughout the family unit and as part of our cluster of other family friendly approaches, we wanted to reflect that here also.”
Did you receive any assistance from the Miscarriage Association?
Our initial policy was based on the template on the MA website and then tweaked to fit our extended remit of all pregnancy loss.
CEO Mark Gannon said: “At UK Coaching, we believe that person-centred coaching transforms lives, and builds inspired communities. Our internal company ethos should reflect what we preach outwardly, that is why we believe in fair and principled policies for all our employees that recognise them as people first and foremost.
“I know how committed our members of staff are to the nation’s coaches and that’s why we’re committed to them. Whatever life throws at them, we will support them through it – that’s why I’m pleased to have implemented guidance on pregnancy loss, which will help our employees deal with the issue with great care and sensitivity.”
Join UK Coaching in taking the M.A.’s Pregnancy Loss Pledge.