Online bank Monzo has introduced paid leave for employees who are impacted by the loss of a pregnancy, as one of the first companies in the UK to do so.
The pioneering policy forms part of the bank’s new mental health focus, which followed its founder and former chief executive, Tom Blomfield, step down from the role in January after struggling with anxiety and stress.
Monzo will give either partner up to 10 extra days of paid leave if they lose a baby due to abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth, regardless of when it occurs in the pregnancy.
“This also includes colleagues who are partners or surrogate mothers, recognising that pregnancy loss doesn’t just affect women or heterosexual couples,” the bank said.
Additional leave can also be approved by managers if staff feel they need more than two weeks.
Businesses only have to allow parents to use planned maternity or paternity leave if they lose their baby after 24 weeks, when it is considered a stillbirth, under UK employment law.
A loss of a baby before the 24-week mark is counted as a miscarriage and therefore does not qualify for maternity leave or pay and is left to the discretion of employers whether to offer compassionate leave, annual leave or unpaid holiday.
The announcement comes two weeks after Channel 4 confirmed a similar policy, and what it “believed to be the world’s first dedicated pregnancy loss policy for employees, covering all types of loss including miscarriage, stillbirth, and abortion.”
Monzo’s UK policy was quietly put in place two months ago and is set to be extended to its US staff over the next six to eight weeks.
“People need time to recover,” Monzo HR boss, Tara Mansfield, said. She added that the bank was also trying to recognise the people who terminate their pregnancies.
The bank has also started to offer staff and partners who are undergoing fertility treatments, diagnosis or consultations an extra eight days of paid fertility leave each year.