West Dunbartonshire Council implements pregnancy loss scheme

West Dunbartonshire Council in Scotland has introduced a pregnancy loss scheme, in order to offer any affected employees compassionate support.

The initiative, which was agreed by members of the council’s Corporate Services Committee, aims to provide guidance and a sympathetic response to staff who go through pregnancy loss.

Employees and their partners who experience pregnancy loss under 24 weeks will be entitled to up to five days of paid leave pro-rata, with no limit to the number of times they can take this leave, while those who lose a baby from 24 weeks of pregnancy will still be entitled to statutory maternity and paternity rights and benefits.

Staff affected by pregnancy loss through fertility treatment will be eligible for paid leave under the scheme, if they were not able to access either maternity or parental bereavement leave.

The council introduced these measures in recognition of the fact that pregnancy loss is a difficult time for parents, and as part of its commitment to supporting employees in line with its people-first strategy.

Councillor Daniel Lennie, convener of Corporate Services, said: “I am pleased to see this scheme approved to offer help and support at a difficult and heart-breaking time for parents. I am also pleased the council will support those suffering pregnancy loss through fertility treatment.”

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Councillor Michelle McGinty, vice convener of Corporate Services, added: “The loss of a child is a very difficult and painful time for parents and it’s only right that employees are fully supported while they are grieving without having to worry about work and pay. I am extremely proud that West Dunbartonshire Council are leading the way and showing their workforce that they will support them through the times that really matters.

“A little bit of compassion goes a long way and this will make a heartbreaking time a little bit easier. I am sure this policy will bring much needed comfort and support to our workforce and I am pleased to see it approved.”