[2022] Motion 24 Improve bereavement care

carried motion
Carried motion

Received from:

An estimated one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage yet, despite this, women still face stigma and are not able to talk about their loss.

Staffing shortages and lack of funding has led to reduced training of healthcare staff in bereavement care and specialist bereavement services unable to run seven days per week

There is no entitlement to statutory maternity, paternity or parental bereavement leave following a miscarriage that happens in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. But this does not mean that a family is not bereaved or that the loss should not be acknowledged and support not given.

The Equality Act 2010 includes a protected period of two weeks against discrimination, dismissal, redundancy or unfair treatment related to pregnancy, miscarriage or related sick leave. Sickness absence certified as pregnancy or miscarriage-related by a GP or other medical practitioner is therefore legally protected. Employers must count this absence separately. Unfavourable treatment outside of this period may be considered as sex discrimination.

Congress calls for:

i. investment in specialist bereavement services

ii. unions to negotiate agreements that embed the existing legal protections for those who have suffered a miscarriage and encourage employers to sign the Miscarriage Association pregnancy loss pledge

Royal College of Midwives