northumberland woman urges employers to help women after miscarriage
A woman from Embleton, Northumberland, a county in North East England, has urged employers to support women workers with pregnancy loss. The Miscarriage Association has also launched a pregnancy loss pledge for female employers to sign in order to support them after miscarriage.
If a woman has lost her baby before 24 weeks, this means that she will not be qualified for maternity benefits, including Maternity Pay. However, they are entitled to sick leave and statutory sick pay.
What happened to the Northumberland woman?
Rebecca Charlton from Embleton, Northumberland, lost her baby during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the BBC, Rebecca Charlton was five months pregnant when her waters broke and she suffered a miscarriage. She was not qualified for maternity leave and pay. She was asked for a sick note.
In a note, she said, “I’m not sick. I’ve just given birth, and my baby has died.” She further said, “We really need to look at how employers can support people through early pregnancy loss before 24 weeks and acknowledge the grief.”
The woman further added that one in three women developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of early pregnancy loss. Rebecca Charlton said that her manager helped her by giving her compassionate leave. Rebecca Charlton urged all the employers in the country to help women after miscarriage.
Sufferings of women
During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the government introduced statutory parental bereavement pay and leave for women who suffered pregnancy loss after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
A spokesperson for the Department for Business and Trade said that the government launched new guidance on managing bereavement in the workplace and help women workers after miscarriage.
UK Abortion Law
In the United Kingdom (UK), abortion is legally allowed for socio-economic and health reasons during the first 24 weeks of the pregnancy.
During the pandemic, the authorities arrested women who illegally obtained abortion tablets to end their pregnancy. Human rights activists want abortion decriminalized. Senior MPs and women’s rights groups called for a change in law.