Skip to content
Accessibility Sitemap Search

The UK's national charity for working parents and carers

Members log in

Don’t miss out!

Sign up for free resources, exclusive events and the latest updates for employers, line managers and HR professionals.

Case study library

  • Welcome to our employer case study library

    The case studies are free to access. To help keep the library relevant and useful, please provide a few details. By entering your data, you agree that your information will be processed in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Alternatively, if you are a Working Familes member, please log in for immediate access.

    Members Log-in

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
    Do not fill this in

Published: 26 Jun 2024

Bank of England – Finalist 2024, Best for Supporting Different Pathways to Parenthood sponsored by Adoption UK

The Bank of England are doing impressive work to break down the stigma associated with baby loss and fertility and has put measures in place to holistically support people on different and challenging pathways to parenthood.  

Policy support 

The Bank of England’s policies apply equally to all parents from the first day of employment, whatever journey they take. For example, bereavement leave applies to surrogate parents if the surrogate loses the baby, and the 26 weeks of parental leave applies to adoptive parents. Inclusive language with non-gendered terms is used, such as spouse, partner, and birthing parent. Parents can use discretionary leave for unexpected child sickness, and/or ten days of paid carer’s leave. Prospective adoptive parents can utilise the volunteering leave policy to help with volunteering 

requirements set by adoption agencies. Occupational sick pay offers 12 months’ full pay and benefits in a rolling 18-month period, with a Group Income Protection policy offering 50% salary beyond that up to two years of absence. Pension benefits continue through the two years. 

A parental bereavement leave and pay policy offers up to four weeks of leave at full pay, which can be taken flexibly to help deal with the loss of a child under 18, stillbirth or pregnancy loss at any point under 24 weeks. This can be taken within the first 56 weeks to cover anniversaries and triggering days. Flexible work patterns and phased returns also work to support employees. The policy applies if an employee or their partner experiences a loss as a parent, foster parent, adoptive parent, a surrogate parent, or who has been looking after the child in their home for over four weeks. 

Fertility and loss   

Following a survey by the parents network which found that 42% had struggled with fertility and baby loss, a campaign was supported to raise awareness of the bereavement policy. Through the Fertility and Baby Loss project, which has executive sponsorship, much work has been done to increase psychological safety and normalise conversations around the issues. Examples include, 15 peer supporters with lived experience joining the Wellbeing team, communications campaigns encouraging greater awareness of the ‘hidden’ impact and how to discuss the issue sensitively using appropriate language, sharing compelling stories through blogs and podcasts, increasing the budget for baby loss training, engaging with other employee networks around intersectionality and baby loss, and creating safe spaces to connect and reflect. The project also developed a fertility toolkit to collate useful information and provide practical advice and support, in particular for managers. 

The network has also had awareness events and training sessions delivered by panellists with lived experience and Tommy’s midwives, and an in-depth case study learning session by pregnancy loss and trauma counsellors at Petals. 40% of those that attended baby loss training last year were men or partners, demonstrating the importance of inclusion and wellbeing. Support groups and coffee hour sessions are arranged by peers and supported by an in-house counsellor to safeguard employees and ensure that conversations are safe and can support any follow ups should anyone be triggered. 

Additional support  

The parent’s network has launched an adoption and fostering support group for parents, as well as those adopted as children, and people who are on this journey or considering it. There are several wellbeing services, such as access to fertility, family planning and private healthcare specialists following baby loss. An internal medical fund can assist with the cost of IVF treatment or additional reassurance pregnancy scans, and an on-site GP unit provides webinars on fertility and pathways to parenthood. An Employee Assistance Programme counselling and a helpline for partners.