The Miscarriage Association is urging employers to commit to supporting their employees that are impacted by miscarriage, saying current legislation does not go far enough.
They have subsequently launched a new campaign designed to get businesses and organisations to pledge to support employees experiencing pregnancy loss.
Current legislation means that there is no statutory entitlement to paid leave for people who lose a baby before 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Existing legislation only applies from 24 weeks, where the loss of a baby is legally a stillbirth, and mothers are entitled to full maternity leave alongside both parents being allowed two weeks of Parental Bereavement Leave.
The Association is asking companies to take the Pregnancy Loss Pledge, ensuring that staff experiencing miscarriage get the support they need.
The pledge means that organisations will agree to meet the M.A.’s standard, which specifically asks that employers 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 in getting back to work.
Absence for miscarriage is protected by pregnancy-related rules, meaning that it cannot be used against affected employers in any way, and it must be recorded separately to general sickness.
However, in a survey conducted by the M.A., almost half of respondents felt they had to return to work before they were ready, with many not knowing or being told about their right to pregnancy-related leave.
Companies who have already signed the pledge include the Co-op, with chief financial officer Shirine Khoury-Haq commenting:
By creating a supportive environment companies can go a long way in easing the stress that people in this situation often feel.
The Miscarriage Association National Director, Ruth Bender Atik, said:
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.