Council gives leave to staff suffering baby loss

Case Study - London Borough of Barking & Dagenham

Barking and Dagenham is the first UK council to offer full-paid leave to employees who have suffered a miscarriage or stillbirth.

The new policy offers a week off work to women who lose their baby at any stage in their pregnancy, as well as to partners of women dealing with such loss.

New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern

A spokesperson at Barking and Dagenham council commented that the change was inspired by New Zealand’s policy. Two months ago the country passed a bill mandating three days of paid bereavement leave for workers and their partners after a miscarriage.

Current British law does not oblige employers to give staff bereavement leave if they or their partner loses a baby before the 24th week of pregnancy. They must however allow employees to use planned maternity or paternity leave if their baby is stillborn after the 24th week.

Our chairman, Professor Robert Winston, commented; “Genesis Research Trust is delighted to hear that Barking and Dagenham Borough agrees to allow employees time off in the event of loss of a pregnancy. This is one of the most common and distressing conditions conditions which cause agony to so many people. We shall continue to fight for the underlying causes and better treatment for these couples and our research team applaud this wise decision of a local authority.”