These Progressive Aussie Companies Offer Paid Leave After Pregnancy Loss

These Progressive Aussie Companies Offer Paid Leave After Pregnancy Loss

by | May 6, 2021

Just over a month ago, Jacinda Ardern passed a new law will see three days of paid leave granted to those who experience pregnancy loss – regardless of your employer. The legislation came after the Bereavement Leave for Miscarriage Bill received an unanimous vote in parliament, making the reportedly world first decision one that came into effect a few weeks ago.

While New Zealand already offered paid leave in the event of stillbirths, when pregnancy loss happens after 20 weeks, this new development however, will see that extended to pregnancy losses that occur at any point, not simply from 20 weeks.

Unfortunately, at a federal level, Australia just isn’t as progressive as our trans-Tasman sibling. While those who experience miscarriage after 12 weeks are allowed to take leave, it is unpaid – leaving women who aren’t in the financial position to take time without pay no choice but to head straight back to the office.

While we continue to campaign for our government to follow in the footsteps of Ardern, and other more progressive countries, there are a number of companies who have taken the issue into their own hands – and have made the decision to offer paid miscarriage leave to their employees.

Here, we profile the few that do so.

Modibodi

Modibodi, an Aussie leak-proof apparel brand, has become one of the first companies offering menstrual, menopause and miscarriage leave for its employees. This week, Modibodi launched a new leave policy entitling its employees to paid leave explicitly for menstruation, menopause and miscarriage, in addition to the company’s existing sick leave entitlements. Employees will accrue an additional 10 days paid personal leave per year for menstruation, menopause discomfort or in the event of a miscarriage.

These paid leave days are not taken from ‘sick leave’ but are specifically designed to be used by staff suffering menstrual or menopause symptoms which interfere with their ability to work, or in the event they suffer a miscarriage or pregnancy loss. Staff are also allowed to request to work from home if needed during their period.

“We’ve introduced these policies as part of our commitment to talk openly and honestly about periods, to normalise conversations about menstruation and to remove any stigma and shame associated with a normal, natural part of life,” says CEO and Founder Kristy Chong.

“To help change those attitudes, we need to start in our own office, and this new policy is one action we can take now to help do that.”

Zip Co

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) company, Zip Co Limited (Zip) announced last week a new bereavement leave policy, enabling grieving parents (including partners) two-weeks of paid leave, following the loss of a pregnancy before 20-weeks. The policy, which is available to Zip employees or ‘Zipsters’ (irrespective of tenure), aims to recognise the unique circumstances that surround miscarriage, as well as the physical, emotional and mental toll. For those that experience the loss of a pregnancy after 20-weeks, Zip’s parental leave policy applies, giving Zipsters, regardless of tenure, 16 weeks paid leave for primary carers and 4 weeks paid leave for secondary carers.

“Offering two weeks of paid bereavement leave to all Zipsters will be a big step forward in normalising the conversation around infant loss, miscarriage and grief. By validating their experience and providing the space to heal, we hope we can help our employees find their way to a full and healthy recovery – both mentally and physically,” explains Chief People Officer at Zip, Anna Buber-Farovich.

By Nikolina Ilic

Nikolina is the web-obsessed Digital Editor at Men's and Women's Health, responsible for all things social media and .com. A lover of boxing, she spends most of the time in the gym or with her husband and daughter. She was previously a Digital Editor at GQ and Vogue magazine.

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