13 October 2021

Freshfields UK launches a revolutionary measure for pregnancy losses

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has just announced an almost unprecedented measure in the legal sector: a two-week paid leave for anyone who has lost a pregnancy before the first 24 weeks

This measure applies equally to all employees of the firm whose has lost the pregnancy or who has a surrogate mother. In turn, this policy also includes abortions.

Although this measure was introduced on October 11. According to information published in Financial News London, Freshfields becomes the first firm in London to apply this revolutionary measure. 

"The policy applies regardless of length of service and recognizes that pregnancy loss is not unique to women or heterosexual couples," details one of the firm's representatives. 

Although British labor law obliged companies to offer their employees two weeks' paid leave in the event of pregnancy loss after the first 24 weeks, nothing is said when this occurs before this limit.

Following this announcement, Freshfields joins a very short list of firms that have implemented this measure, others such as Howard Kennedy. On the other hand, Clifford Chance or Cooley extended health insurance benefits to their employees in the UK to pay for fertility treatments. 

This measure, in which Freshfields has collaborated with Sands, a stillbirth neonatal charity, symbolizes the firm's effort to care for the mental health of its lawyers. 


UK birth statistics

A total of 712,680 births were registered in the UK in 2019. In the same year, there were 2,763 stillbirths and there were approximately 60,000 premature births. 

According to a study conducted by the British platform Tommys, 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriages, accounting for, approximately, 250,000 each year. In 2019, 2,131 neonatal deaths were recorded. 

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