Channel 4 Launches "World's First" Pregnancy Loss Policy to Support Male and Female Staff

Daniel Davies
·2-min read
Photo credit: CARL DE SOUZA - Getty Images
Photo credit: CARL DE SOUZA - Getty Images

Channel 4 has launched the "world's first" pregnancy loss policy, which is designed to support both male and female employees through pregnancy loss.

Under the new policy, which covers miscarriage, stillbirth and abortion, men and women affected by pregnancy loss will be entitled to two weeks leave on full-pay, paid leave for medical appointments and will be able to shift to flexible working.

The policy will also give them access to an array of resources including medical support, counselling and a buddying scheme to support employees returning to work after a loss.

Speaking about the policy, which has been designed in consultation with leading charities in the area, chief executive of Channel 4 Alex Mahon said: "At Channel 4 we recognise that the loss of a pregnancy, no matter the circumstances, can be a form of grief that can have a lasting emotional and physical impact on the lives of many women and their partners.

"Our dedicated policy by 4Women will help confront a subject that remains taboo while providing Channel 4’s employees with vital tools and support. We hope that by giving away this pioneering policy we’re able to encourage other organisations to do the same."

According to research by Tommy's, one in four pregnancies end in a miscarriage, while in 2018, one in every 250 pregnancies ended in a stillbirth.

Despite that, employees aren't entitled to any leave if they or their partner suffer from a miscarriage or stillbirth, and are only able to take sick leave if they get it signed off by their GP first.

Channel 4 says it is publicly publishing its policy so that other companies can "take it and make their own".

"Channel 4 is aiming to end the stigma around women’s health issues by helping to normalise taboo subjects and make them more visible. It follows the launch of the channel’s Menopause Policy in 2019 which inspired similar action in workplaces across the world," reads a statement by Channel 4.

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