Renfrewshire Council

Support and information for colleagues who have experienced pregnancy loss

Information about time off, counselling, reasonable adjustments, and other support available.

If you have experienced a pregnancy loss, we understand that this is a bereavement and that getting the right support at work is important. We're committed to providing you with as much support as we possibly can.

On this page:

Pregnancy loss from 24 weeks (stillbirth and neonatal loss)

If you have experienced a stillbirth or neonatal loss from 24 weeks onwards, you are entitled to maternity leave and pay, which are different to the arrangements under this policy.  The details of the what you are entitled to are contained in Section 5 of our Parenting Leave and Pay Policy.

Time off

If you experience pregnancy loss, you are eligible for full paid leave for up to two weeks, no matter your length of service or the hours you work. This includes whether it happens to you, your partner or the surrogate having your baby, and if the loss happens through fertility treatment from the point of embryo transfer. There is no limit on the number of times you can take it if you are affected by more than one loss.

We will pay you up to two weeks paid leave. Further time off can be supported and covered in accordance with the Council's Sick Pay Scheme and Managing Absence Policy.

It's important that you contact your manager as soon as possible if you are affected by pregnancy loss, so that we know what's happening and how we can support you. If you don't feel like you can speak to your manager, remember our HR team are here to help you. We also have an Employee Assistance Programme called Time for Talking, who can provide you with support. You can contact Time for Talking at any time on 0800 970 3980.

We encourage you to let your manager know so that they can support you during this difficult time and help you return to work. However, if you would prefer not to tell anyone, please use the Managing Absence Policy instead. Any sickness absence that is recorded as pregnancy related does not count towards absence review points.

If you are a family member and need time off to support your loved one, please refer to our Special Leave Policy.

Medical appointments

We encourage you to speak to a GP if you have experienced pregnancy loss.

We know that if you are affected by pregnancy loss, you may need time away from work to attend medical appointments or to support your partner, and that it may be challenging to arrange appointments around working hours. We will provide a reasonable amount of paid time off to attend appointments and encourage you to discuss this with your line manager.


You can access free, professional and confidential counselling 24 hours a day through contacting Time for Talking. The best way to access this is via the mobile app. If you prefer, you can call them on 0800 970 3980. More information about our EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) can be found at our wellbeing hub.

If you would prefer to speak to someone who is specially trained in the kind of pregnancy loss you have experienced, you can contact a specialist organisations listed below.

IVF and fertility

We understand that you may have unique challenges if you experience both pregnancy loss and infertility. We want you to know that this policy still applies if pregnancy loss occurs after you or your partner have had fertility treatment from the point of embryo transfer onwards.

Returning to work

We don't presume to understand how colleagues affected by pregnancy loss will feel about coming back to work. We know that the experience will affect people differently, both emotionally and physically. We also know that, for some, the transition back to work may be challenging.

There might be reasonable adjustments we can make at work to help you cope if you find things difficult. These will be temporary changes, agreed with your line manager, to help you adjust to coming back to work.

Your manager may do a risk assessment to understand more about how your experience might affect you at work and discuss any adjustments you might need. You can also use a Wellbeing Action Plan to identify how your experience has impacted you at work and use this to discuss any changes you might need with your manager.

Reasonable adjustments

The reasonable adjustments we can make will depend on your circumstances, but the types of changes that might help could be:

  • changing your start time if you're experiencing disturbed sleep
  • providing more breaks
  • adjusting start and finish times
  • considering a flexible or hybrid working arrangement
  • making sure you have easy access to toilet facilities
  • turning your camera off when on video calls.

Your manager might suggest that you speak to Time for Talking to get some help and advice. They may encourage you to go to your GP for support if you haven't already. They might also ask you if you're happy to be referred to Occupational Health. This is so we can get more information about how your experience is likely to affect you at work and what adjustments we can make to help.

Support from specialist organisations

There are a number of charities and other specialist organisations who offer information and support about pregnancy loss. Here are some that you might find helpful:

  • The Miscarriage Association - an organisation which offers support and information for those affected by miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy as well as signposting for counselling services
  • Petals - provides specialist support and counselling after pregnancy loss
  • Tommy's - a charity that funds research into pregnancy problems and provides information for parents-to-be
  • SANDS  - can offer you support if your baby dies during pregnancy or after birth
  • ARC - a national charity offering parents support through antenatal screening and its consequences, including bereavement
  • Abortion Talk - a new charity offering people the chance to talk about abortion in a non-judgemental and supportive environment
  • The Fertility Network - a charity offering resources and support for those affected by fertility issues
  • The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust - supporting people with early pregnancy complications