This comes just weeks after New Zealand approved a law which allowed employees paid time off after experiencing a miscarriage.
The news channel, Channel 4, has announced the introduction of a Pregnancy Loss policy, intended to support staff who are experiencing the loss of an unborn child.
This includes two weeks of full paid-leave, paid leave for medical appointments, flexible working, medical support, counselling, and a scheme to support employees returning to work after a loss.
This announcement comes just weeks after New Zealand announced a similar policy, allowing paid-leave for employees who experienced a miscarriage or a stillbirth.
Channel 4’s policy is gender and sexuality-inclusive, meaning that any employee who has faced pregnancy loss will be eligible for the support. This also extends to partners of the person who experienced the physical loss.
Alex Mahon, chief executive of Channel 4, said:
At Channel 4 we recognise that the loss of a pregnancy, no matter the circumstances, can be a form of grief that can have a lasting emotional and physical impact on the lives of many women and their partners.
Jane English, Landy Slattery and Navene Alim, co-chairs of 4Women, further stated:
We felt we had to act after hearing heartbreaking stories of staff suffering in silence with pregnancy loss. We wanted to recognise that it’s not just women and heterosexual couples who are affected by such losses. And we chose to make the policy publicly available so that other companies could take it and make it their own and help tackle the stigma and lack of support surrounding pregnancy loss.
The Miscarriage Association states that, currently under UK law, women who have a miscarriage need a fit note issued by their GP if they take more than seven days off work. After this, these employees are eligible to take off as much time as needed if their sick leave is certified as pregnancy-related.
However, the partners of someone who has experienced a physical loss are not presently entitled to pregnancy-related leave or sickness absence. Depending on the employer, they may be eligible for compassionate leave.