With funding from the Department for Health and Social Care’s Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Health and Wellbeing Fund, we’ll be working with partners and businesses to develop our current Pregnancy and Parenting at Work package into a scheme suitable for smaller organisations (‘SMEs’).
From summer 2023 we’ll be rolling out the training package to SMEs in two ‘champion cities’, then working with network partners Small Business Britain and Women in Business to extend training elsewhere in the UK.
We’re initially aiming to support 900 SMEs in Birmingham and Greater Manchester, which we estimate could benefit up to 13,000 women and birthing people, and then a further 400 SMEs nationwide.
A particular focus is employers with a large female workforce, particularly those with non-desk-based workers, workers who have shift patterns, and women and birthing people from minority ethnic backgrounds who are most at risk of pregnancy complications.
5.75m UK workers (including partners) are currently pregnant or planning, meaning around 470,000 working women and birthing people are potentially affected by pregnancy complications or loss. In 2020 our research into reproductive health needs in the workplace found that 65% of organisations were interested in e-training modules to help them support employees. Our recent survey also found that 69% of people felt their manager wanted to support them but only 1 in 3 knew how to.
So we created Pregnancy and Parenting at Work as a training package to help workplaces understand and be empowered to meet employees’ needs through pregnancy journeys, including miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth and other complications.
Currently, our partners in this paid-for service include a number of major employers such as Bupa, Santander and members of the Virgin Group. We're providing policy support, staff education, e-training and online tools to upskill managers and HR teams and helping them to help improve health and wellbeing, increase diversity and inclusion, close the gender pay gap, and attract, retain and grow female talent in the workplace.
With our Women's Health and Wellbeing Fund grant, we’ll now be working with partners such as LGBT Mummies and specialist local pregnancy clinics and bereavement midwifery services to develop a free training and support package of policy support, e-training and online tools for SMEs.
Our Fundraising Director Jacqui Clinton says:
“We are so pleased to see funding for reproductive wellbeing in the workplace being prioritised by the Department of Health and Social Care. This grant will enable Tommy’s to develop our workplace training so that together with our partners we can reach thousands of people working for small and medium sized enterprises with trusted pregnancy heath information.
"We know that organisations value having one accessible, expert, online training product for all pregnancy journeys, including those which end in loss and as the UK’s leading pregnancy health charity we are well positioned to provide this much needed support.
“Navigating pregnancy, complications, loss and return to work is complex and this grant will scale up Tommy’s expert advice so that more organisations are better equipped to support people in the workplace."
If you own or work for a small or medium sized business in Birmingham or Greater Manchester and are interested in free Pregnancy and Parenting at Work training email [email protected] with ‘SME support’ in your subject line to be added to our waiting list.