At present, in February 2023, there are no laws to state that an individual experiencing pregnancy loss, before 24 weeks, is entitled to sick leave. Although you may apply for a sick note from your GP, you will not be able to take sick leave through self-decision. The government policies currently declare that if you have a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy, you are eligible to take time off and receive,-
If a child is stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy, the
birth mother can get up to 52 weeks of statutory maternity leave or pay
birth father or partner can get up to 2 weeks of paternity leave pay
The birth mother, birth father or partner will be entitled to 2 weeks of parental bereavement leave after they finish their maternity or paternity leave.
The Miscarriage Association, founded in 1982, have introduced the ‘Pregnancy Loss Pledge’ which aims to encourage employers to commit to supporting their staff during the distress caused by pregnancy loss. In signing and agreeing to the pledge, as an employer, you agree to implement updated rules and increase your support toward pregnancy loss.
What is Pregnancy Loss?
Pregnancy loss is the death of an unborn child at any time during pregnancy and can occur in as much as 3 in 4 pregnancies within the first three months (NHS).
Pregnancy loss includes but is not limited to;
Miscarriage - A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy during the first 23 weeks.
Stillbirth - A stillbirth is when a baby is born dead after 24 completed weeks of pregnancy.
Abortion - An abortion is a procedure to end a pregnancy.
Ectopic pregnancy - An ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilised egg implants itself outside of the womb, usually in one of the fallopian tubes.
Molar pregnancy - A molar pregnancy is when there's a problem with a fertilised egg, which means a baby and a placenta do not develop the way they should after conception. A molar pregnancy will not be able to survive.
Neonatal loss - Neonatal loss is when a baby dies in the first 28 days of life.
What is the Pregnancy Loss Pledge?
The Pregnancy Loss Pledge is a campaign, whose goal is to achieve a more flexible and supportive working environment for someone who may be going through a pregnancy loss. The pledge asks that the employers who sign comply with the standard guidelines they have stated.
Encourage a supportive working environment.
Show empathy and understanding.
Implement a pregnancy loss policy or guidance.
Encourage line managers to access in-house or external guidance.
Support people back to work by being responsive to their needs.