It’s estimated that one in four pregnancies in the UK end in loss during pregnancy or birth. Given that the majority of people wanting to start or grow a family are of working age, it’s safe to assume that most of these losses happen to individuals who are in employment and, when dealing with the physical and mental wellbeing impacts of loss and grief, employer support can be very valuable. 

The way an employer responds can have an impact on how someone copes, as well as on their longer-term views of their employer. It also sends a message to the rest of the workforce about whether or not the organisation genuinely cares for the health and wellbeing of its people. 

We believe that providing compassionate support for people who have experienced such loss is the right thing to do. 

Drawing on our survey findings and wider research, this guide is structured around five principles of good practice to help you design the support that would be most helpful to your employees.

  1. Raise awareness about the need for pregnancy or baby loss to be recognised as an important workplace wellbeing issue.
  2. Create an open, inclusive and supportive culture. The aim is to break down the stigma and ensure that people know they will be supported if they want to tell people about their loss.
  3. Develop an organisational framework to support employees experiencing pregnancy or baby loss.
  4. Manage absence and leave with compassion and flexibility.
  5. Equip managers to support people with empathy and understanding. 

We have also produced case studies of good practice in this area, as well as guidance for managers.

Why is pregnancy and baby loss a workplace issue?

How can you create a supportive culture?

How to develop a framework to support employees

How to manage absence with compassion and flexibility

Promoting good people management

What are the five key principles to take away?

Useful Resources

Acknowledgements

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