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As the UK faces a labour shortage, time off from work for miscarriages and menopause is being more widely accepted


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British companies are finding innovative ways to draw women into the workforce, such as introducing leave for menopause and miscarriage. Job postings offering time off for a lost pregnancy surged by a whopping 3000% in March 2021, compared to the same time the year before. Meanwhile, those citing fertility benefits, like egg freezing and IVF, increased by over 700%. Even postings mentioning menopause leave doubled.

The data suggests that businesses are increasingly relying upon the female workforce to plug the gaps, as evidenced by the official figures that show women are joining the labour market at a faster rate than men. The number of working-age people in the labour market is still lower than it was pre-pandemic, yet attempts to alter job terms and conditions haven’t been successful.

Today’s workers are taking a more detailed approach to assessing employers and their propositions, according to Mairéad Nayager, Chief Human Resources Officer of Haleon. She believes that supportive policies for women are essential for attracting and retaining talent. This view is shared by Duncan Brown, Principal Associate at the Institute for Employment Studies, who commented that such an approach is ‘not a smart strategy’ in the current tight labour market.

Irish companies have also been implementing similar family-friendly policies, as unemployment rates have hit a two-decade low of 3.9%. Banks like Bank of Ireland and AIB, which were rescued by the taxpayer during the financial crisis, have been leading the charge by rolling out employee perks for the first time.

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