Lidl Northern Ireland offers employees paid leave for miscarriages


Lidl Northern Ireland has introduced a new policy to give employees three days of paid compassionate leave following an early pregnancy loss or miscarriage.

According to the supermarket, the allowance is available to all staff, regardless of gender, and includes those using a surrogate mother.

Additionally, Lidl has extended its compassionate leave policy to include paid leave for employees who suffer a miscarriage, along with a support system that includes 24-hour access to its dedicated employee assistance programme for mental health. Also available is up to five free sessions with a professional counsellor and a peer or colleague support system.

Denise White-Hughes, head of employee relations at Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland, commented that there is already provision for leave for late-term pregnancy loss and miscarriage after six months, but the retailer wants to support its colleagues who suffer this loss at every stage.

She said: “Many will use sick leave to get them through this time, but this shouldn’t be treated as a sickness – this should be formally recognised as a bereavement and the support structures made available for those who need them.”

White-Hughes added that Lidl recognises the needs of its employees are evolving all the time as they progress though different stages of their lives, and wants to ensure that it is facilitating those needs in the most sensitive and supportive way that it can. She explained that the business also wants to ensure that it helps to “lift the silence” and offer support for all those who have experienced this loss.

J.P. Scally, CEO of Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland, said that the supermarket is “proud” to introduce these policy changes around the area of early pregnancy loss and miscarriage, and that the initiative is designed to provide support to those suffering and also on their return to work.