Online bank, Monzo, will be one of the first companies to offer paid leave to employees going through pregnancy loss.
Monzo, is a UK based online banking company founded in 2015 that employs around 1600 employees.
The news comes after Monzo’s HR boss, Tara Mansfield, said that the bank will help those forced to terminate pregnancies. Mansfield states “People need time to recover”.
The move allows partners in a relationship 10 days extra paid leave when going through miscarriage, abortion or stillbirth. Leave will be accepted regardless of what stage of pregnancy the loss may happen.
The move shall include partners and surrogate mothers including those of non heterosexual relationships, in an effort to ensure awareness that this is an issue that can affect many people regardless of their individual backgrounds.
UK law only will grant leave for losses 24 weeks into pregnancy where it’s a stillbirth. Any loss to happen before this is as a miscarriage and does not qualify couples for leave and pay. However, employers can offer annual leave, compassionate leave and unpaid holiday during this time if they see it as necessary.
Pregnancy loss affects many couples in the UK. For example, more than 1 in 5 pregnancies ending in miscarriage (around 250,000 a year) according to the Miscarriage Association.
In light of Monzo’s announcement and following movements to understand the effects of pregnancy loss, Ruth Bender Atik, the national director of the Miscarriage Association comments on the importance of the decision.
“People have been wanting for a long time for more understanding, and recognition of, the impact that that miscarriage or pregnancy loss can have, whether it’s miscarriage, or ectopic pregnancy, or molar pregnancy, or termination for whatever reason”.
The introduction of Monzo’s policy would take place 2 months back and will expand to some US branches in the next 6-8 weeks.
Pregnancy loss is a recognised factor that can affect people’s mental health. Monzo’s part in raising mental health awareness follows the departure of its founder, Tom Blomfield. Blomfield stepped down earlier this year citing struggles with anxiety and stress as part of his reason for leaving.
In addition to providing paid leave for those going through pregnancy loss, Monzo is also now offering partners and staff going through fertility treatment, consultations and diagnosis to be included as an additional 8 days of paid fertility leave each year. This should be beneficial, allowing people time for rest and recovery, physically and emotionally, after procedures and treatments and allowing for employees to attend scans and appointments.
For more information regarding maternity leave, or for other HR advice and support, contact us.
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