Lidl to give leave for pregnancy loss and miscarriage
Lidl Ireland is set to offer three days at full pay to employees who have experienced or been affected by early pregnancy loss and miscarriage.
The company said the measure will extend to all employees, regardless of gender, including those with a surrogate mother.
It is part of Lidl’s renewed Compassionate Leave Policy which recognises that early pregnancy loss and miscarriage is a bereavement and is not isolated to women or heterosexual couples.
In addition to the paid compassionate leave, employees can avail of 24-hour access to their Employee Assistance Programme for mental health, five free sessions with a professional counsellor and a peer or colleague support system.
Deirdre Pierce-McDonnell, Chairperson of the Miscarriage Association of Ireland welcomed the decision by Lidl Ireland and said more needs to be done elsewhere to remove the stigma surrounding early pregnancy loss and miscarriage.
“The experience of early pregnancy loss and miscarriage can be deeply distressing, both emotionally and physically, and it is something that is still not commonly talked about," Pierce-McDonnell said.
"Lidl identifying the need for this change in policy and the importance of recognising the silently grieving can only be beneficial to us as a society.
"We need to remove the stigma surrounding early pregnancy loss and miscarriage, encourage a national conversation in acknowledging the isolation that our colleagues and peers experience and ultimately affect change in how we behave towards and support those affected.”
Each year, 15,000 pregnancies end in early pregnancy loss and miscarriage, although this number may be even higher due to the silence around early pregnancy loss.
"The silence around pregnancy loss has forced many to cope with it alone and we want to ensure that we help to lift that silence and offer support for all those who have experienced this loss," Denise White-Hughes, Head of Employee Relations, Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland.
"There is already provision for leave for late-term pregnancy loss and miscarriage after six months, and following feedback from our colleagues, we have designed this updated policy to not only recognise a pregnancy loss and miscarriage as a bereavement but to support our colleagues who suffer this shattering loss at every stage, and equip our teams to help support those affected in a meaningful and sensitive way.”