Taylor Rose MW’s Keeley Lengthorn joins Forces with Briefed to Launch New Training Programme
KEELEY LENGTHORN >
PartnerFri 13 October 2023
A new online training platform has been launched to help employees navigating a 'return-to-work' after experiencing a baby loss. Developed by Briefed, the free-resource is expected to be accessed by tens of thousands of companies across the UK over the coming months.
As well as supporting those suffering the loss of a child, it also educates managers, co-workers and HR leaders on the steps they can take in the workplace.
It has been created by experts at Briefed - a team of barristers that deliver specialist training, certification and support to businesses. They’ve joined up with leading Family solicitor Keeley, who is one of the country’s main campaigners and experts in this area.
Keeley has suffered the heartbreak of losing three children in the space of three years. She’s now trying to turn that tragedy into a positive by fighting to enact George’s Law, which would see employees given statutory time off to recover following the loss of a baby.
Her unrelenting campaign for a law change is set to go before the House of Commons later this year.
Keeley says the new training platform is a vital part of that crusade in further raising awareness. It comes at a time where there is still a widespread lack of knowledge on the issue of baby loss in many workplaces.
The loss of a baby at any stage of pregnancy can take an enormous mental and physical toll on those impacted. Yet currently the UK doesn’t recognise these losses in the same way as still birth and neonatal death. Families are not given automatic entitlement to paid leave if they lose their baby before 24 weeks; Instead, it is up to employers to decide to provide paid leave.
Increasingly, employers are introducing their own baby loss policies, but a lot of organisations, big and small, have no formal miscarriage leave provision.
Keeley said: “I am indebted to the whole team at Briefed for collaborating with me on my mission to legislate “Georges Law” and to raise awareness generally of baby loss.
“This training is informed, easily navigated, and provides both employers and employees with tools at their fingertips to assist employees who have suffered a baby loss.
“I’m eager to launch this and hope that businesses will use this and other training courses provided by Briefed to assist their workforce during what can be a really difficult period for some returning to work.
Keeley continued: “I am determined to help bring about a change in the law. But this could take time. This training will help provide support right now to many employees who need it and for that reason it really can be a lifeline. I urge all businesses to make use of it.”
Orlagh Kelly, a barrister and the CEO of Briefed, said: “Keeley’s story resonates with me personally, and with many other barristers, solicitors, colleagues and friends.
“That’s why I’m so grateful that Briefed now has the opportunity to raise awareness of the difficulties bereaved parents face navigating their workplace after a loss.
“We want this training and resource toolkit to ignite conversations on how employers and colleagues can support each other and implement common sense policies to create a safer and kinder work environment.”
Ms Kelly said Briefed is backing George’s Law and that will be joining forces by working together to try and bring it to fruition.
Ms Kelly added: “We’re on a mission to help raise awareness about this deeply heart-breaking and incredibly distressing experience for individuals and couples.
“We’ve been working closely with Keeley who has been campaigning for a new bill to be passed which would provide statutory leave for parents who suffer the loss of a child under 24 weeks – known as George’s Law.
“In the absence of protection at a statutory level, our training is intended to provide organisations with guidance on how to support a colleague.
“We want to ensure there is a transparent and effective baby loss policy available to employees within all organisations in the UK, and create a more understanding and compassionate environment for their employees.”
Why businesses should take this issue seriously:
- One quarter of UK pregnancies end in loss
- Each year, an estimated 250,000 miscarriages and 11,000 ectopic pregnancy hospitalisations occur across the UK, emphasising the complexities of pregnancy-related healthcare.
- In 2021, England & Wales saw 1,719 newborn baby deaths within 28 days of birth.
- Yet less than one in ten organisations have Pregnancy Loss Policies in place.
- This situation is not helped by the current gap in the law for parents who experience the loss of a child in the early stages of pregnancy.
- Just 1.7% of respondents in a recent survey with Fertility Matters Network felt their workplace had fertility policies in place which met their needs.
- The dissatisfaction from negative experiences presents a significant loss of talent for the workplace.
- Resignations create an additional workload in terms of recruitment. This impacts workplace productivity and team morale.
- Included in the Get Briefed training is a downloadable pregnancy loss policy template which helps acknowledge this gap.
For more information, please click here.