UK law firm Royds Withy King has introduced compassionate leave for employees who suffer pregnancy loss before 24 weeks.
The firm launched the policy on 21 September (Tuesday) for its 480 staff members who either experience a loss of this kind or are the partner of someone who does. Qualifying employees will be entitled to up to two weeks of paid time off. Currently in the UK, parents who lose a child who is under the age of 18, or stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy, have a statutory right to two weeks’ parental bereavement leave.
According to the business, the announcement joins a suite of family-friendly policies it already has in place that “go above and beyond industry standards”, including enhanced maternity or paternity leave, adoption leave, leave for fertility treatment and paid care for dependent leave.
Earlier this year, New Zealand’s parliament unanimously voted to give three days’ bereavement leave, joining many countries that have granted paid time off following a pregnancy loss. The organisation made the decision to launch its own initiative as the UK does not have legislation like this in place, with workplace policies of this nature being less common, and also due to the statistic that one in four pregnancies will end in miscarriage.
Amanda Dow, director of HR at Royds Withy King, said: “Our new pregnancy loss policy aligns with our values of truly supporting our people and giving them the trust, respect, and flexibility they need to balance their work and home life.”
Jessica Parsons, HR advisor at the law firm, added: “We felt that it was important to recognise that pregnancy loss, no matter when it happens, can have a big impact on both the expecting parents. We have therefore created this policy to support our colleagues and their partners, whether male or female.”