Civil servants to get leave for pregnancy loss

Belgian federal civil servants will get two days' leave in the event of a pregnancy loss. "A pregnancy loss is physically and emotionally drastic," said Civil Service minister Petra De Sutter.

De Sutter, a gynaecologist, announced the reform on Monday. The leave will also be granted to the partner of the person experiencing pregnancy loss. The proposal was approved by the Council of Ministers on Friday.

"Losing a pregnancy is tough. Recognising that pain and loss was important to me. Women and their partners who work for the federal government will get two days' leave if they lose their pregnancy," said De Sutter.

"We know from studies that in general up to 25 per cent of pregnancies end in loss"

"People who experience an early pregnancy loss under 180 days are entitled to the two days," she said. "They must have informed their employer in advance that they are pregnant, as also stipulated in the Welfare at Work Code."

Last year, 884 federal government employees took maternity leave. "We do not know exactly how many of our employees experience pregnancy loss. But we know from studies that in general up to 25 per cent of pregnancies end in loss," said De Sutter.

She said that pregnancy loss is often still a taboo subject. "People who lose their pregnancy often process it alone because they do not know how others will react to their pain. By legislating these two days, I hope to help break the taboo and make pregnancy loss discussable," she said.



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