A SOLICITOR who has lost three children in the space of three years has called on the Government to change the law on pregnancy-loss.
Speaking as part of Baby Loss Awareness Week, Keeley Lengthorn, a partner at Taylor Rose MW Solicitors, said: “I lost my son, George, in March at 22 and a half weeks. He was my third loss.
“Following George's death, it became very apparent to me that there was no statutory protection in place for anyone in terms of returning back to work. As it currently stands, anyone who loses a baby after 24 weeks must return back to work the next day. In circumstances like mine, I gave birth to a fully formed baby. I had a six-hour birth for him. Yet the law says that I must go back to work the next day.
“As a result of that, I've started a national campaign to call on all employers to enact specialist miscarriage leave policies within their workplaces to try and assist women and men who are going through this traumatic experience and having to return back to work the next day.”
“I can't believe we're in 2022 yet we're only just looking at this now. I'm astonished that the law in its current form says that you have a baby, and you leave that deceased baby at a mortuary and go back to work the next day.”
In her interview with Gloria De Piero and Mark Longhurst on GB News, Keeley continued: “If you're going through surrogacy, or if you’re going through the adoption process, and you lose the baby at that stage as well, it will apply.
“I very much kept an eye on the New Zealand model where, last year, they adopted a policy whereby everyone in New Zealand gets three days statutory leave. As a result I drafted a policy for my firm, which they enacted at the beginning of this year. I was unfortunately the first employee to use that.
“But it is now effective and we're working on that and loads and loads of other firms have now come forward, not just legal businesses, but Channel 4, ASOS. All different businesses have come forward and said we will enact this.”
Keeley, 40, from Bromley, south east London, told GB News she’d been working closely with Angela Crawley MP on her Miscarriage Leave Bill which is due for a second reading in the House of Commns on 2 December.
She added: “I can't believe we are where we are, but I am working closely with MPs. We've had lots of roundtables. I'm encouraging all MPs to support Angela Crawley in the second reading, so that we can get this statutory provision in place.
“We talk time and time again about wellbeing in the workplace but this comes to the heart and core of that and it must be at the forefront of employers’ minds and MPs’ minds now and they must, must support this bill.”