Law firm Kingsley Napley has formalised a policy that offers paid time off work to all staff affected by pregnancy loss.
All employees and partners who lose a baby by miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy or neonatal loss will receive 10 days’ paid leave without having to certify their absence, the organisation announced last week.
They may also agree additional leave via sickness absence, holiday or the firm’s compassionate leave policy.
Where a staff member directly experiences stillbirth, after 24 weeks’ of pregnancy, Kinglsey Napley will allow them to take maternity leave and pay.
The firm will also provide paid leave to attend medical appointments that do not fall within the agreed period of leave, either for themselves or to accompany a partner or surrogate mother who has experienced pregnancy loss.
Staff members are also entitled to two weeks’ parental bereavement leave on full pay if their child dies under the age of 18. Since April, every employee who suffers a stillbirth or the death of a child has the right to two weeks’ paid leave under the Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations.
By formalising the policy, which largely existed previously through its compassionate leave arrangements, Kingsley Napley wants to send staff the message that both women and men who are affected by pregnancy loss should not feel shy about reaching out to HR or their line manager for help and should not fear discrimination.
Managing partner Linda Woolley said: “Kingsley Napley is proud to be an early mover among employers announcing a pregnancy loss policy for staff. We believe it is important to help our people who experience the trauma of pregnancy loss to reduce stress at a difficult time and to signal that we recognise the physical and emotional issues involved.
“The Covid pandemic has been a powerful reminder that we bring our whole selves to work and that we all have personal life challenges to deal with sometimes which can affect our work. We want our people who face such a situation to feel that they can have a conversation with us and feel supported.”