The Work Couch: Pregnancy loss and work (Part 1): Does the law reflect expected work cultures?

Published on 14 June 2023

Welcome to The Work Couch, the podcast series where we explore how your business can navigate today's tricky people challenges and respond to key developments in the ever-evolving world of employment law.

With around 20 to 25% of all pregnancies sadly ending in miscarriage, we will either experience pregnancy loss ourselves or know someone who is affected. While everyone's experience is unique, people commonly report feelings of shock, grief and isolation which can be further compounded by work worries, for example how to tell their manager, or how much leave they are entitled to. These worries can adversely impact the affected employee's physical and mental wellbeing, work performance and morale.

So how does the law currently protect employees who experience pregnancy loss - and does it reflect expected work cultures? Ellie Gelder talks to employment law experts Charlotte Reid, senior associate at RPC, and Eleena Misra KC of Old Square Chambers about:

  • Why pregnancy loss is such an important topic for employers;
  • Charlotte's own experience of miscarriage and how it affected her at work;
  • How the right to time off differs depending on the timing of the loss;
  • The perspective of non-child-bearing partners;
  • What legislative changes we might see on the horizon, specifically the progress of The Miscarriage Leave Bill; and
  • Practical issues that might arise and how managers can deal with these sensitively and supportively.

If you would like to find out more about pregnancy loss, you can access further guidance and support from The Miscarriage Association or Tommy’s Miscarriage Information and Support.

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All information is correct at the time of recording.  

The Work Couch is not a substitute for legal advice.

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