Royds Withy King brings in paid leave for employees who suffer pregnancy loss before 24 weeks

September 26, 2021

Law firm Royds Withy King, which has an office in Swindon, has become one of the first in the UK to offer compassionate leave to employees who suffer pregnancy loss before 24 weeks.

Under the firm’s new pregnancy loss policy, any of its 480 employees will be entitled to up to two weeks’ paid time off should they – or their partner – lose their baby up to 24 weeks into the pregnancy. 

Under UK employment law, parents who suffer the loss of a child who is under the age of 18, or stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy, have a statutory right to two weeks’ parental bereavement leave.

Bath-headquartered Royds Withy King said figures showed that one-in-four pregnancies will end in miscarriage.

Yet it was among just a handful of large businesses to extend parental bereavement leave in this way – and was also one of the first UK law firms to do so. 

The change joins a suite of family-friendly policies already in place at the firm that go above and beyond industry standards, including enhanced maternity/paternity leave, adoption leave, leave for fertility treatment and paid care for dependant leave.

Royds Withy King HR director Amanda Dow, pictured, said: “Our new pregnancy loss policy aligns with our values of truly supporting our people and giving them the trust, respect, and flexibility they need to balance their work and home life.”

Royds Withy King HR advisor Jessica Parsons added that the firm felt that it was important to recognise that pregnancy loss, no matter when it happened, could have a big impact on both the expecting parents.

“We have therefore created this policy to support our colleagues and their partners, whether male or female,” she said.

Earlier this year New Zealand’s parliament unanimously voted to give three days’ bereavement leave, joining many countries in the Asia-Pacific region in granting paid time off following a pregnancy loss.

The UK, however, has no such legislation.

As well as offices in Swindon and Bath, Royds Withy King also has bases in Bristol, Oxford and London.

The firm provides a comprehensive range of legal services from corporate and commercial to family and private client and advises in a number of key sectors. Its clients range from individuals through to multi-national FTSE companies.

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