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Inclusive Employers is the UK’s first and leading membership organisation for employers looking to build inclusive workplaces.

What is Baby Loss Awareness Week?

Baby Loss Awareness Week is a chance for people who have lost a baby to come together as a community and find a supportive space to share their experiences. 1000s of people each year experience baby loss in pregnancy, at or soon after birth, or in infancy. However, there is still silence, shame and discomfort around the topic.

When is baby loss awareness week?

Baby Loss Awareness Week 2023 takes place from 9th October to 15th October.

The history of Baby Loss Awareness Week

Baby Loss Awareness Week, now in its 21st year, began as a way to connect people who have lost babies in order to provide support and community.

As the day has risen in importance, many baby loss charities have stepped forward to help spread the word and engage people all over the world.

From our expert:

“Baby loss is a difficult and taboo subject within our society but as it affects so many people it is essential that workplaces have policies in place to support employees at one of the most difficult times in their lives.

Not all colleagues will want to bring their experiences of baby loss to the workplace but for some people, work can be a helpful distraction, a place of support or a valuable community.

For those people, employee support groups, policies, and opportunities to share through blogs and stories form an essential element of an inclusive culture.”

Rosie Clarke, Director of Member Services 

How to support colleagues who have experienced baby loss at work

Losing a child is a life-changing event that is difficult to comprehend and process. Work will be the last thing on people’s minds during this time, and anything employers can do to assist will be a form of support to the person who has lost a baby.

Because each person grieving is unique, there are no set ways to support or “help” your co-workers who are going through this. To learn more on peoples lived experiences, members of the Inclusive Employers team share their personal experiences and advice for employers on this podcast.

However, there are measures you can take to provide assistance if it is required at any point along the journey:

Flexible working policies

Have flexible working policies in place; grief has a long-term impact on people. Flexible working gives you and your staff the options of working on different days depending on how they’re feeling,  or the option of different tasks for instance non-client facing work for a time, or working on a different project.

Signpost to relevant places

Have resources available that direct people to relevant charities, groups, or internal resources. You may be able to assist someone who does not feel comfortable opening up about their situation if you have ways to find appropriate support.

Make contact

Keep in touch with the colleague, whether you’re managing them or just reaching out as a co-worker. They may not want to talk, but having messages and support available for when they are is a good way to help them feel supported.

Be supportive

The best thing you can do is be kind, understanding and supportive. Only the individual will know what’s best for them, so follow their lead. They may find complex tasks overwhelming, so try to keep work and conversations simple and clear.

If you’re looking for advice on how to support a colleague through baby loss and grief, get in touch with Inclusive Employers today. If you’re already a member, speak to your account manager and explore our resource here.

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