Trigger warning: the content below relates to miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss.
Today marks the start of International Women’s Week (IWW).
IWW celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. This year we are raising awareness about the lack of access to care and support for women following a miscarriage.
Pregnancy loss takes an enormous toll — physical recovery alone can take many weeks. However, legal entitlements vary from country to country, with some governments found entirely lacking in policy provisions while others legislate up to two days of paid bereavement leave for women who experience a miscarriage.
Yet two days proves inadequate for most women. In an Australian-wide survey commissioned by Kin Fertility, women expressed that they needed at least 7 days (median) just to physically recover from a miscarriage, with most women experiencing bleeding and abdominal pain – sometimes requiring hospitalization. More so than that, women needed to dip into their other leave to adequately recover. Kin’s study showed 64% of women who took time off used their sick day leave, 20% used unpaid leave, and 16% used their paid annual leave.
What we’re doing
SafetyCulture’s belief in putting workers at the heart of everything we do, doesn’t stop when they finish work at the end of the day. We’re committed to helping teams and workplaces operate better, from best practice processes to improving employee policies.
To further our efforts in supporting team wellbeing, SafetyCulture is announcing a global policy change to leave entitlements. Effective from today, women who experience a miscarriage will have access to a minimum of 10 days of paid miscarriage leave. With this policy, we hope to support SafetyCulture employees to be able to recover from miscarriage with the space and necessary time away from work that is needed to heal.
Joining the #WeNeedMoreLeave movement
This policy launch comes into effect in line with Kin Fertility’s #WeNeedMoreLeave campaign. The Australian telehealth startup is leading the movement to encourage businesses to raise the bar when it comes to creating supportive and safe environments for women in the workplace. Inspired by Kin’s call to action, SafetyCulture has applied this policy globally and hopes our involvement will spur other businesses to do the same.
Since starting the #WeNeedMoreLeave campaign, Kin has welcomed companies including the likes of Canva, Blackbird, Gritty Pretty, LinkTree, Milkdrop and Simply Wall St to the initiative, providing more than 10 days of miscarriage leave.
“At the heart of any amazing workplace culture are human-centered conversations. Sometimes life can be hard. We want every team member to feel truly supported through their most challenging moments. We seek to normalize talking about challenging topics in the hope that people feel heard and connected.“– Anna Wenngren, Chief People Officer, SafetyCulture
Campaigns like #WeNeedMoreLeave open up conversations in the workplace about some of life’s more challenging moments. Almost always, it’s an open dialogue that will get a team member the support they need. We hope this policy change helps encourage other businesses to do the same, inspiring more ideas for how we can better support and empower women in the workplace.
Please note: it can be hard to find the right language to use when describing pregnancy loss. SafetyCulture has chosen to use the most widely used and accepted terms within this policy but welcomes feedback.
The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your specific needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are based on our interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice. We are not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article. SafetyCulture disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article, any site linked to this article, and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.