Ruth Dance
Written by
Ruth Dance

I’m over the moon to hear today that an organization here in the UK have recently announced their pregnancy loss policy. This follows recent announcement from New Zealand parliament where they approved paid leave after miscarriage. To see a large scale employer and media broadcaster follow suit in the UK  feels like this the start in making positive change.

Channel 4, the British television network, are the first organisation in the UK to announce such a policy. And not just announce it to their people internally, but also share this publicly with the purpose to inspire other organizations to follow suit.

One of the main reasons I’m excited to be championing this subject is, I’ve been there. I experienced 3 consecutive, excruciatingly painful and heart breaking miscarriages resulting in hospital trips, consultant appointments and endless tests. Despite my very supportive employer who gave me all the time, space and support I needed,  I still felt the stigma, I felt I could only talk to those close to me who would understand. I felt lonely and isolated and in grief. But I lifted my head up, put one foot in front of the other and did what I thought I had to do.

Without full, cultural and societal change, pregnancy loss will forever be a painfully isolating and lonely experience.

Channel 4 have not only challenged the stigma by creating a dedicated pregnancy loss policy, they have also thought inclusively about who can be affected. By removing all assumptions they open a wider conversation that miscarriage is an important and difficult life experience that is not to be ignored. Not only giving people the time to grieve and recover, but also breaking the taboo and opening the conversation.

Miscarriage is common, around 1 in 4 pregnancies and yet it remains a taboo. Something you experience in private and hide from the rest of the world. But miscarriage is painful. It’s a grief, a loss, it’s a new life you had settled in to, a date, a name, a birthday, a nursery, and so much more.

Channel 4 – Thank you for undoubtedly inspiring change and changing the world, through the world of work.

This begs the question of ‘What else?’

  • What other life experiences are we missing where we could be doing more to support our people?
  • What other struggles are our people hiding?
  • How are we involving our people in the design and content of these policies?
  • And, most importantly. How do we ensure these are completely inclusive, without bias or assumptions?

I’d love to hear more about what you’re doing in your organisations or how you’ve been inspired by New Zealand or Channel 4 and what you plan to do as a result in the comments below.


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