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JH introduce Pregnancy Loss Leave policy to further support staff and their families

As part of our continuing effort to increase wellbeing in our team – whether it’s working hours, mental health, training, and support of their personal development – we have now officially introduced our Pregnancy Loss Leave policy.

At JH we recognise that the loss of a pregnancy can be an incredibly difficult, personal time,  having a significant impact on both mental and physical health. This policy is our contribution to ensuring any team member going through such a circumstance feels as supported as they can be.

Our Pregnancy Loss Leave Policy - further supporting staff and their families

Our Pregnancy Loss Leave policy

Our latest policy doesn’t come out of the blue – the support and understanding for losses like this have always been available at JH for anyone who asked, but we felt it was important to formalise this for our staff. It’s often difficult for many of us to speak up to our employers when we’re struggling, especially for personal subjects like this one. While it’s estimated that 1 in 4 pregnancies do sadly end in a loss during pregnancy or birth, it’s not a subject that is routinely discussed – many of us know women or couples who have experienced a loss that has deeply affected them, and many of those same people had their experience worsened by the reaction (or inaction) of their employers.

We felt that formalising this support into an official Pregnancy Loss Leave policy and communicating it would reassure our team that the flexibility and understanding is there to help them, giving them the time to grieve, should the worst happen and they ever need it.

“Like many people, I have personally suffered and dealt with the effects of pregnancy loss, and I know first-hand the mental and physical toll it takes on someone. It was important to me that as a company, we recognised that such an event isn’t something that can be covered simply by sickness leave, and there’s no timeline on when someone who has experienced such a thing can expect to feel better.

It was also important to me that we made two things very clear: firstly, this policy isn’t gender-specific – the effects of pregnancy loss can negatively impact anyone and aren’t solely applicable to women. Secondly, this policy covers the many types of pregnancy losses that can occur, and we aim to provide that additional comfort and confidence to our employees – should they unfortunately experience any form of pregnancy loss – to make use of this policy at any time, should they need to.” – Emmy, People Experience Manager

A Pregnancy Loss Leave policy that supports our staff and their families

Pregnancy loss doesn’t just affect women, and we were very mindful of this when outlining our policy. Any JH team member that needs it, now has access to the following through this Pregnancy Loss Leave policy:

  • 2 weeks of fully paid leave, regardless of gender
  • Paid leave for any associated medical or fertility appointments
  • Up to 3 additional days fully paid leave for when menstruation first returns
  • A phased return to work – a meeting will be held to discuss working arrangements and to make any adjustments that could help you
  • Arrangement of professional counselling if needed – the People Experience Officer will arrange counselling or therapy personally, as required
  • As of January 2022, we have expanded our offer of professional counselling to include our team’s partners, too

Any team members who need to make use of any or all of the above support don’t need to provide anything – they just need to say the word, and we’ll take care of it.

Expanding support for working families

This Pregnancy Loss Leave policy joins a range of other initiatives to help JH staff maintain a work/life balance, including flexible and remote working, a wellbeing fund, personal development budgets and generous annual leave. 

While we were already proud of the flexibility and staff support we offered, during the pandemic we realised we needed to go further. We scrapped our ‘core hours’ and switched to a ‘work anywhere, anytime mindset’ – and now staff are able to fit their work around other responsibilities, no matter what they might be. It means our colleagues can put their families, health and happiness first and not worry about repercussions or judgement.

“My wife and I had our first baby earlier this year, and completely flexible working hours at JH has allowed me to be a part of my baby’s life, support my wife, and help out around the house. Babies in particular don’t stick to a schedule! Being a new parent is difficult enough without worrying about missing work – knowing I can take time out and make it up later is so reassuring and helps me to be much more present when it really matters.” – Oli, Lead Developer

Working to keep our staff support two steps ahead

Since JH’s inception, ensuring the company remains a great place to work for our staff has been a major part of the company’s goals. 

“When I founded JH, it was all about doing better than the other agencies I saw out there. Better work, sure – but better treatment of staff was and is just as important. When someone on our team, or their family, is suffering through the tough times, the last thing they need is the pressures of work on their back. I and the other members of the leadership team want JH to do everything we can to positively impact the work/life balance of our employees so they can be at their happiest. We only hire the very best and brightest, and I want us to be the best employer they’ve ever had in return. It’s the least we can do.” – Jamie, CEO

If JH sounds like the kind of place you’d like to work, check out our current open vacancies here. We’re always looking for exceptional people to join the JH team!