How to manage an employee who has a miscarriage or stillbirth or whose baby dies after birth
Author: Lesley Myland
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- Check at what stage in the pregnancy a miscarriage or stillbirth occurred, as the employee's entitlements are different after the pregnancy has reached 24 weeks.
- Manage time off relating to a miscarriage occurring at any time up to 24 weeks of pregnancy under your sickness procedure, but take into account that the employee will be distressed, so exercise leniency with the normal reporting procedures if necessary.
- Bear in mind that an employee whose partner has suffered a miscarriage before 24 weeks of pregnancy will be entitled to some time off under the statutory right to time off for dependants.
- Be aware that, where their child is stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy, or is born alive but dies after birth, the mother will retain their rights to maternity leave, and to maternity pay if they qualify for it.
- Take into account that an employee whose partner has had a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy, or whose child has died after birth, may be entitled to statutory paternity leave and pay, along with time off for dependants.
- Show patience and understanding, and don't be surprised if an employee who has had a stillbirth or whose baby has died indicates that they intend to return early from their maternity leave, but then changes their mind, or returns to work, but then goes off on sickness absence.
- Ensure the sensitive handling of the return to work of an employee who experienced a stillbirth or the death of their baby.