Zip Co is one of the first companies in Australia to offer paid leave for miscarriages.
The buy-now-pay-later business is offering two weeks of leave following the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks.
Zip Co offers paid leave for miscarriages
The leave is available to all Zip employees who are part-time and also full-time, irrespective of their length of service.
For those who experience the loss of a pregnancy after 20 weeks, Zip’s parental leave policy kicks in.
It gives 16 weeks paid leave for primary carers, in addition to four weeks paid leave for secondary carers.
Zip says a quarter of its executive team has experienced miscarriage, including chief people officer, Anna Buber-Farovich.
She says the aim of the leave is to remove the stigma of pregnancy loss.
“It is aimed at changing the conversation around pregnancy loss and miscarriages,” she said.
“And also normalising the conversation instead of it being a taboo topic and an uncomfortable thing that no one is talking about.”
There has been an “amazing reaction” from employees as a result of the new policy, according to Buber-Farovich.
Surprisingly, men make up the majority of staff to come forward to share their experiences.
Zip’s CEO, Larry Diamond, said the company wants to normalise pregnancy loss.
“We are a modern company and we want our staff to feel valued and supported.
“This means having policies that help them with big life events such as pregnancy loss.
“Hopefully, other Australian and international companies will follow Zip’s example and put in place similar steps to support their colleagues.”
Employment law expert Miles Heffernan from Fair Work Claims described the policy as “smart business”.
“Companies that want to retain good people need to offer reasons for those people to stay,” he said.
“And this policy is an example of how they can do it.”
Mr Heffernan believes it’s time the federal government legislated paid leave for pregnancy loss.
Last month, the New Zealand government introduced three days paid leave for mothers and their partners following a miscarriage or still birth.
“Once again, it is the Kiwis leading the way on cultural change in addition to smart policy decisions,” he said.
“The loss of a pregnancy can have devastating effect on parents, and they should therefore be allowed time off to grieve without feeling pressure to be back at work.”