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John Lewis will give time off for pregnancy loss at any stage

John Lewis & Partners (JLP) has become the latest UK business to offer paid leave to employees dealing with pregnancy loss. It has also announced that it will equalise the time off given to both new mothers and fathers – it will be the first UK retailer to do so.

JLP Chair, Dame Sharon White, said: “As an employee-owned business, equality matters to us. We want John Lewis and Waitrose to be a place for everyone and for people from all walks of life to feel valued so they can thrive in our business”.

She went on: “We want to be there for our partners to support them in important life moments, whether that’s stepping into the world of work for the first time, or becoming a parent”.

The policies will begin from Autumn 2021 and will entitle employees to 26 weeks of paid leave, with 14 at full pay and 12 at half pay for staff who have worked within the Partnership for at least one year.

Those who experience pregnancy loss will also be entitled to take two weeks of paid leave under the new policies. This decision follows similar moves from companies such as Channel 4, Monzo, and Abel & Cole in recent months. UK law currently only entitles prospective parents to time off if the baby is lost after the 24-week mark.

Jacqui Clinton, who directs the pregnancy charity “Tommy’s” corporate Pregnancy and Parenting at Work service, said: “Baby loss at any stage in pregnancy is one of the most heart-breaking things any family can experience – and one that’s endured all too frequently, but often quietly, because of persistent stigma in society”.

“It’s fantastic to see companies acknowledging this impact and tackling this taboo by creating dedicated leave policies; this will help anyone who’s struggling to reach out, and to feel confident and supported in doing so”.

MP Caroline Nokes, Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee also praised the decision, saying that, “The pandemic has been particularly hard for families juggling all sorts of different demands and pressures and I am pleased but not surprised the John Lewis Partnership has risen to the challenge to help both existing and future employees”.

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said: “It is wonderful that JLP and many other UK companies are beginning to acknowledge the extent of emotional and physical suffering the loss of a baby can ensue at any stage of pregnancy. It is time the law itself caught up with this reality and permitted paid leave for anyone who has lost a baby. However, decisions such as these also continue to highlight the cruelty and inconsistency of abortion law by bringing into focus the fact that babies lost before 24 weeks are still babies and that loss at any stage of pregnancy is a tragedy.”.

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Dear reader, 

Thanks to the support from people like you, in July, a major attempt to hijack the UK Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - to introduce abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth - failed, in a major pro-life victory.

Unfortunately, this is not the end for our opposition.

We are currently facing major threats on four separate fronts:

  1. The abortion lobby is expected to make another attempt to change abortion law to allow abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth. A similar law was introduced to New Zealand last year and recently released data shows that the country saw a 43% increase in late-term abortions in 2020.
  2. The assisted suicide lobby has brought forward a bill to legalise assisted suicide, which will be receiving a Second Reading in the House of Lords on 22 October.
  3. The Northern Ireland Secretary has given himself new powers to force expanded abortion services on Northern Ireland and abortion campaigners are also running a large campaign to try and introduce ‘DIY’ home abortions to Northern Ireland.
  4. The abortion lobby is further exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to attempt to make dangerous ‘DIY’ home abortions available permanently.

If these major threats from our opposition are successful, it would be a disaster. Thousands of lives would be lost. 

Fighting both the abortion and assisted suicide lobbies over this period has already made a huge dent in Right To Life UK's limited resources.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to please give as generously as you can. Every donation, no matter how small, will make a significant difference.

By stopping these threats, YOU can save lives over this coming period.

Will you make a special gift right now to help protect vulnerable lives from these threats?

Q

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    Q

    Be the first to know…

    When you sign up for email updates from us, you will be receiving:

    Action alerts on the latest pro-life developments along with tools to help you change hearts and minds

    Opportunities to help protect and defend more lives

    Where should we send your updates?

      By clicking submit, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms below.

      Right To Life UK will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch with you and to provide updates. You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at info@righttolife.org.uk. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please see our Privacy Policy.

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