Below is the Jack & Grace pregnancy loss policy. It helps us create an inclusive and supportive working environment for everyone.
Please feel free to copy and paste the policy and use it as a template (you might need to edit slightly to switch in your company’s name).
With help from the Miscarriage Association, this is J&G’s pregnancy loss policy. If you’ve experienced a miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy, work will be the last thing on your mind. But this policy aims to help you understand your rights and help other team members to support you.
We want to offer appropriate practical and emotional support to any member of the team affected by pregnancy loss.
This covers topics and issues that some readers may find difficult or upsetting. You may have your own experience of loss or be an expectant parent supporting someone that has experienced a loss. If this is the case, you may need to speak to your own line manager for support. Further information, guidance and support can be found on the Miscarriage Association’s website – https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/information/miscarriage-and-the-workplace
Pregnancy loss can be a frightening, lonely and traumatic experience for both women and men. It is often both physically and emotionally painful, with effects that can last for a very long time.
Everyone’s needs will be different. For example, some people may feel that they can continue to work as normal, while others may require more support. You may have your own experiences and opinions about the impact. Everyone will experience their loss differently, and it’s important not to make any assumptions about how they feel or how they want to be treated.
Partners, as well as grandparents and other close relatives, might be affected too – if that’s you, we want to support you as well.
Clarifying the terminology
We thought it was useful to set out these legal definitions and timelines. It’s worth noting though, you might feel they don’t fit your circumstances – everyone is different. It’s sometimes really hard to talk about this stuff and be specific and still gentle – we’ve tried our best but there are a few areas where we know the language is a bit clumsy.
- Miscarriage is the most common kind of pregnancy loss, affecting around one in four pregnancies. Miscarriage is when a baby (or foetus or embryo) dies in the uterus during pregnancy. In the UK, that definition applies to pregnancies up to 23 weeks and 6 days, and any loss from 24 weeks is called a stillbirth.
- An ectopic pregnancy is one that develops outside of the uterus, or womb (the word ectopic means ‘out of place’). Around 1 in 80 pregnancies is ectopic and for some women, it can be life-threatening.
- A molar pregnancy, also called a hydatidiform mole, is one where an abnormal fertilised egg implants in the uterus (womb). The cells that should become the placenta grow far too quickly and take over the space where the embryo would normally develop.
- You’re under no obligation to tell us about a pregnancy until around the six-month mark (more info here: https://www.gov.uk/working-when-pregnant-your-rights)
- Of course, you can share the news much earlier if you’re comfortable doing so. We think everyone should feel free to talk about it in the workplace if they want to, and it can be really nice to have support in the early days of pregnancy.
- Either way, if you experience miscarriage or other pregnancy loss, there is some immediate support that will happen:
- J&G policy is that expectant parents who experience pregnancy loss are entitled to up to six days off work with full pay (whether you’re the one experiencing the miscarriage yourself or your partner is).
- This is in addition to the sick leave allowance you’re entitled to if you are the one who experiences the miscarriage (see below).
- The sick leave allowance states that you can ‘self-certify’ (decide for yourself that you need to be off work) for seven days. After this, you need to get a ‘fit note’ or Fitness for Work statement from your GP. This section of the Miscarriage Association’s website has more information on an employee’s rights. This sick leave will not count towards sickness absence trigger points.
- If you have a miscarriage just before or during annual leave, you can take it as sick leave instead (and use the annual leave at a later date).
- Up to three paid days off are available if you need time off to care for a loved one who has had a miscarriage (perhaps you’re a parent, sibling or grandparent).
- We will reallocate and cover work so you can switch off completely.
- We know you might need to leave work suddenly if a miscarriage begins in work time – so everything here will happen as swiftly as you need it to.
Communicating the news
We’ll maintain your privacy throughout, agreeing how to explain any absence to the wider team (and clients where appropriate) in a way that you’re comfortable with.
We firmly believe we should talk more about periods, pregnancy, menopause and miscarriage in the workplace. But, first and foremost we’ll be guided by what each individual is comfortable with.
This applies when you’re off work and for your return.
The Miscarriage Association has more information on talking about miscarriage in the workplace.
Return to work
You might need extra time off work to attend appointments related to a pregnancy loss (whether you experienced it yourself or your partner did). Our flexible work culture means there will be no issue here – we will accommodate any time off needed.
When you’re ready to return to work we’ll offer you a meeting where any specific needs can be discussed.
This might include a temporary workplace adjustment – for example cancelling client meetings or a phased return to work.
The Miscarriage Association has more information on ways you can support a team member’s return to work and offer further support in the future.
Information and support to help you through a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or molar pregnancy.
Citizens Advice Bureau
(search for your local office on this link)
Free and confidential advice on benefits, work, and family
Ectopic Pregnancy Trust
020 7733 2653
Information and support for ectopic pregnancy
(find information and appropriate telephone numbers on this link)
Information on rights and benefits around pregnancy, pregnancy loss and maternity
Information on mental health support including Wellness Action Plans and
reducing stress at work
Sands – UK charity which provides support and information on stillbirth and neonatal death
0808 164 3332
Information and support for stillbirth and neonatal death
0300 012 0312
Advice for working families.