Channel 4 become 'world's first' to offer paid pregnancy loss leave for both male and female employees

Two people holding hands sitting on a bed
(Image credit: Burak Karademir via Getty)

Channel 4 have announced the launch of their new Pregnancy Loss Policy which includes paid leave for both male and female employees.

UK television network Channel 4 have launched a progressive and important new policy for their employees. The policy, which Channel 4 believes to be the “world's first” according to their statement, will offer paid pregnancy loss leave to all employees, regardless of gender. 

For anyone who has experienced the signs or symptoms of pregnancy loss (opens in new tab) or the loss of a baby (opens in new tab), the idea of returning to work afterwards couldn’t be more difficult. Processing grief and finding ways to cope with a miscarriage (opens in new tab) is an incredibly personal journey.

Now Channel 4’s new Pregnancy Loss Policy, which they announced on their website (opens in new tab), will offer more support to those who have been affected and they consulted several leading charities on it.  

What does Channel 4’s Pregnancy Loss Policy include?

According to the network’s website statement, Channel 4’s new Pregnancy Loss Policy includes two weeks leave on full-pay, paid leave for medical appointments and flexible working opportunities.

It also includes multiple resources such as medical support, counselling, and a buddying scheme to support employees who are returning to work after a loss.

Who will Channel 4’s Pregnancy Loss Policy support?

Channel 4's Pregnancy Loss Policy lends support to all who experience pregnancy loss, regardless of gender or situation, stating it “recognises pregnancy loss as an experience not isolated to women or heterosexual couples". 

Whether it happens directly to one of their employees, an employee’s partner or their baby’s surrogate mother and no matter their length of service or the nature of their loss, the Pregnancy Loss Policy applies. This announcement follows the launch of the channel’s Menopause Policy in 2019, which hoped to inspire similar action in workplaces around the word. 

Side view of sad woman sitting on floor in bedroom

“At Channel 4 we recognise that the loss of a pregnancy, no matter the circumstances, can be a form of grief that can have a lasting emotional and physical impact on the lives of many women and their partners”, said Alex Mahon, Chief Executive, as part of Channel 4’s statement. 

“Our dedicated policy by 4Women will help confront a subject that remains taboo whilst providing Channel 4’s employees with vital tools and support. We hope that by giving away this pioneering policy we’re able to encourage other organisations to do the same.”

Earlier this year, New Zealand received overwhelming praise and support after the country approved a bill allowing three days bereavement leave after a miscarriage or stillbirth. 

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, Goodto.com, and My Imperfect Life.