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Channel 4 is holding an event on pregnancy loss and what employers can do after it launched its own pregnancy loss policy.
Channel 4 is today hosting a live virtual panel discussion which aims to demystify pregnancy loss, debunk misperceptions and explore what companies can do to better support women and men going through pregnancy loss.
The event comes after the tv company launched its pregnancy loss policy earlier in the week. It is designed to support employees through pregnancy loss – which includes but is not limited to miscarriage, stillbirth and abortion.
The policy – which Channel 4 says is a world first – will support both women and men who have been affected – whether it happens directly to them, their partner or their baby’s surrogate mother, regardless of the nature of their loss and whatever their length of service. It also recognises pregnancy loss as an experience not isolated to women or heterosexual couples.
Channel 4 consulted several leading charities on the policy which includes: two weeks leave on full-pay; paid leave for medical appointments; flexible working; an array of resources including medical support, counselling and a buddying scheme to support employees returning to work after a loss.
The policy has also been devised for line managers and colleagues of staff directly affected who wish to provide appropriate practical and emotional support to those affected.
An estimated one in every four pregnancies ends in miscarriage; one in every 200 births in the UK each year is classed as stillborn; and an estimated one in three women will have an abortion in their lifetime.
Channel 4’s People team now has a dedicated Pregnancy Loss Champion. Also offering support is the broadcaster’s mental health employee network 4Mind, and their Parents & Carers community, as well as in-house gender equality staff network 4Women, who are responsible for the new policy.
Alex Mahon, Channel 4 CEO, 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 whilst 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.”
Jane English, Landy Slattery and Navene Alim, Co-Chairs of 4Women said: “We felt we had to act after hearing heart-breaking stories of staff suffering in silence with pregnancy loss. We wanted to recognise that it’s not just women and heterosexual couples who are affected by such losses. And we chose to make the policy publicly available so that other companies could take it and make it their own and help tackle the stigma and lack of support surrounding pregnancy loss.”