Co-op has announced the launch of a new pregnancy loss policy, centred around a flexible paid leave structure.
Designed to support the group’s colleagues through bereavement and grief, the policy covers a range of cases, including but not limited to miscarriage, stillbirth, embryo transfer loss, molar pregnancy, and termination of pregnancy for any reason.
The pregnancy loss support has been introduced in partnership with the Marriage Association, following insight from 63,000 Co-op employees that claimed the group needed to extend its support in the area.
In addition to the flexible paid leave, the company will open conversations in the workplace while providing a guide for its managers to enable appropriate practical and emotional support.
Time off for medical appointments, access to emergency leave for staff members whose family member suffers a pregnancy loss, and access to GP support 24-hours a day will all also be introduced, as well as paid leave for when a staff member’s partner or surrogate experiences a pregnancy loss.
Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP, chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, said: “By increasing understanding, changing attitudes and promoting compassion amongst its colleagues, Co-op is making that step-change needed to break the taboo.
“I hope more businesses follow suit and rise to the challenge to help both existing and future employees.”
The move follows a recent announcement by the John Lewis Partnership that it would be introducing two weeks’ paid leave for pregnancy losses.