UK digital bank, Monzo, has announced a new policy that offers 10 days paid leave to employees for pregnancy loss. This change includes, but is not limited to, miscarriage, abortion, and stillbirth.
This is a first for a UK bank to implement such a progressive policy. Policies like this will help destigmatize women’s health issues and provide much-needed support. This is part of the bank’s mental health drive to consider the physical, emotional, and mental health of its employees. Some perks include staff mental health support as well as sick leave days for mental health.
“This also includes colleagues who are partners or surrogate mothers, recognizing that pregnancy loss doesn’t just affect women or heterosexual couples,” a Monzo representative said.
Furthermore, Monzo has also offered staff and partners eight days of paid fertility leave each year. Staff can also request extra time if they need more than 2 weeks.
Monzo—a new solution to banking
Monzo is one of the most popular challenger banks in the UK alongside others such as Revolut and Starling Bank. Challenger banks are the innovative solution to move away from branch-based banks and operate via an app and/or online. Founded in 2015, Monzo has just over 1,600 employees. As of 2020, it garnered over 4 million customers.
Aside from the traditional banking apps that offer the usual selection of choices. Monzo offers a ‘Year in Monzo’ to show insights on how much you’ve spent, saved, and shared money. This feature is similar to Spotify’s yearly ‘Wrapped,’ and many choose to share their Monzo statistics on social media.
Destigmatizing pregnancy loss
According to Tommy’s, around 1 in 4 pregnancies in the UK end in loss during pregnancy or birth. 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Combined, this results in around 250,000 miscarriages each year.
British free-to-air public-service television network, Channel 4, was the first to implement a dedicated Pregnancy Loss Policy.
Alex Mahon, Channel 4 CEO said: “At Channel 4 we recognize that the loss of a pregnancy, no matter the circumstances, can be a form of grief that can have a lasting emotional and physical impact on the lives of many women and their partners. Our dedicated policy by 4Women will help confront a subject that remains taboo whilst providing Channel 4’s employees with vital tools and support. We hope that by giving away this pioneering policy we’re able to encourage other organizations to do the same”.
It seems that Channel 4 could have, in fact, encouraged Monzo to do the same as their decision to introduce a similar policy was announced a few weeks later.
It is heartening to see large organizations with a wide reach acknowledge that people need time to recover from the trauma of pregnancy loss. Hopefully, more organizations and countries can do the same.